“Púgot” Head Taking, Ritual Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice

Vibal Foundation, Inc. (VFI) will be launching Narciso C. Tan’s Púgot: Head Taking, Ritual Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice in the Philippines at VFI’s monthly virtual tertulia this October. Encyclopedic and analytical in its approach, this scholarly book dissects the ritualized forms of violence such as human sacrifice, ritual cannibalism, and head taking in the prehistoric Philippines.

Púgot: Head Taking, Ritual Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice in the Philippines

Púgot weaves together historical data and archaeological studies with traditional myths, legends, and songs to create a seamless narrative of some of the most misunderstood aspects of Philippine culture and to shed light on deeply rooted cultures of violence.

Preceding the emergence of Islam and Christianity, deeply held religious beliefs led various Philippine communities to sanction ritualized forms of violence: human sacrifice, cannibalism, and head taking. Today, many Filipinos see these practices as “primitive,” “barbaric,” or pertaining only to so-called “tribes” and therefore not related to the national dynamic. Púgot forces Filipino readers to contemplate and confront the not-so-ancient past, when their ancestors sported loincloths, battle gear, and talismans, and participated in violent community-wide celebrations and rituals.

The book also reveals these practices not in isolation, but as part of the wider Southeast Asian and Austronesian milieu. The multilingual primary and secondary texts used for this work are sourced from across centuries and disciplines, including thirteenth to eighteenth-century Chinese records, Spanish-period missionary chronicles, and European and American ethnographies from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, as well as folkloric accounts and epics.

This book is the latest addition to VFI’s Academica Filipina+, which is an interdisciplinary series that pushes the boundaries of scholarly publishing with smart, literate, and thought-provoking works exploring the Philippine past, present, and future.

For interested readers, copies of Púgot: Head Taking, Ritual Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice in the Philippines will be available for online purchase at the Vibal Online Shop at, Lazada, and Shopee For bulk orders or if you have queries, you may reach us through [email protected] and [email protected] or call us at +63 (2) 8580.7400 or 1-800-1000-VIBAL (84225).

Written by Village Connect

In a world where free quarterly print and online publications rule, Concept and Beyond Publishing (formerly, Tesmarias Publishing) a publisher of Village Connect (VC) stands out as a pillar and a trailblazer, raising the bar for complimentary magazines with quality reads that are tailored to discriminating Filipino urbanites.

As a print and digital publication, VC strives to provide readers an insightful glimpse into the ever-changing business landscape through relevant dialogue and inclusive coverage of trending news, information, and lifestyle tidbits within (and outside) the metropolis.

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Since its founding in 2011, VC emerged as a household and business name, with a monthly circulation of 50,000 copies distributed FREE in Metro Manila, VC is targeted toward select villages, multi-dwelling outfits (condominiums, serviced apartments), banks, and lifestyle facilities including salons, wellness institutes, and beauty and fitness centers. It is also exclusively carried by Figaro Coffee Shops in Metro Manila – truly living up to its goal of connecting villages and businesses.

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