8 Interesting Finds in TAOID Museum, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

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    During our Laoag trip, we unintentionally found the TAOID Museum which is just adjacent to Museo Ilocos Norte. The museum enlivens the Cordillera culture which is sometimes misjudged if not unnoticed. The museum is a tribute to the people of the Cordilleras who have worked, migrated, and has been part of the Ilocos Norte’s growth. It was a project by Congresswoman Imee Marcos which costed her almost 1 Billion pesos at her own expense.

     Although the purchase and transport of the museum’s artefacts could have been costly, the realisation it can give – that one of the Philippine’s civilisations is as admirable as China’s or Egypt’s- is superb. The entrance fee would only cost you 40 philippine pesos for a regular rate while 20 philippine pesos for a student or senior citizen discounted rate. Here are our 8 interesting finds in TAOID Museum!


1.) Padao

     Padao serves as a territorial marker among villages in Bontoc and Kankanai. The crossed arms of this example is associated with ancestor figures and traditional poses of mummified bodies.



2.) Iduh

     The Ifugao and Bontoc are the only indigenous people who traditional used spoons during meals. All Ifugao had personalised spoons, which were carried in their utility cases or stored in open work baskets. Though many of the spoons are plain, there are many adorned with figures depicting Bukul figures, pregnant females and other subjects. Some even have knives attached for cutting meat.



3.) Oklop 

       These helmets served two purposes when hunting. They served as protective head coverings, as well as for handy bowls for water and meals.



4.) Cordillera Textiles 

        You can try the woven cloaks by the Cordillera locals. All cloaks have woven symbols about their faith and daily lives. Guess who am I imitating in this picture?


5.) Gangsa

       Old gongs were treasured family heirlooms and valuable signifiers of their wealth. Gongs were not only musical instruments, but homes for spirits who watched over the family’s welfare. The most precious ones had human jawbone handles, handed down from head hunting days. It was believed that a human jawbone from a successful headhunt gave the gong greater resonance.


6.) Headdresses

Each tribe has their own unique headdresses telling something about their tribes.


7.) Heads in a Cordillera home

     Up to the early 20th century, headhunting was a revered and honoured practice among many Cordillera groups. Raids were highly ritualised activities by which young men ascended to the ranks of respected leaders. Among the Ifugao, the skulls of the beheaded were mounted on wooden plaques, sometimes mixed with trophy skulls from sacrificial pigs. These plaques were displayed outside the home of the unsuccessful headhunter to proclaim his status and valor. Headhunting incited a cycle of vengeance, with the kin of the murdered instigating their own raids that would claim a life from the kin or village of the successful headhunter.

   The practice of headhunting was successfully stopped by the American administration in the early 20th century, but made a brief resurgence during the Japanese occupation.



8.) Sculpture of Meybuyen by Jo Tandingan 

       Meybuyen is the Goddess of the Underworld. She has about a thousand breasts that is used to feed the babies who died from childbirth or those who died at a young age.



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