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A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore   By: (1881-1961)

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"A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore" by Fay-Cooper Cole is an enthralling and comprehensive exploration of the rich folk traditions of the Tinguian people in the Philippines. Presented with meticulous detail and backed by extensive research, this book provides a captivating window into the cultural beliefs, myths, rituals, and practices of a fascinating indigenous community.

The author, Fay-Cooper Cole, demonstrates a deep appreciation and respect for Tinguian culture throughout the book. His eloquent prose and engaging storytelling vividly bring to life the tales, legends, and customs of this indigenous group. The reader is effortlessly transported into the world of the Tinguian, immersing themselves in their folklore, supernatural entities, and everyday life.

One of the book's major strengths lies in its organization. Cole presents the material in a logical and easily navigable manner, dividing it into chapters that cover specific aspects of Tinguian folk traditions. This structure allows readers to explore topics of particular interest, making it a valuable resource both for casual readers and researchers.

Furthermore, the inclusion of Tinguian folk illustrations, photographs, and maps enhances the reading experience. These visual aids not only offer a glimpse into the physical environment of the Tinguian but also provide valuable context for the folklore being discussed. Each image is thoughtfully chosen and adds an extra layer of depth to the narrative.

Cole's expertise in ethnography is evident in the book, as he not only documents the Tinguian folklore but also provides valuable sociocultural insights. He discusses marriage customs, religious practices, and social hierarchies, contextualizing the significance of various myths and rituals within the wider Tinguian society. This interdisciplinary approach makes "A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore" not only a captivating read but also an important contribution to the field of anthropology.

Despite the book's many strengths, one minor drawback is the occasional level of detail that may overwhelm some readers. Cole's meticulousness can make certain sections feel dense or hard to navigate for those seeking a more casual understanding of Tinguian folklore. However, for those with a keen interest in indigenous cultures or scholars in the field, this level of depth and completeness is an asset rather than a hindrance.

In conclusion, "A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore" serves as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the folklore and cultural heritage of the Tinguian people. Fay-Cooper Cole's dedication to preserving and sharing this rich tradition is evident in both his meticulous research and engaging storytelling. This book deserves a place on the shelves of folklore enthusiasts, scholars, and anyone curious about the world's diverse cultural tapestry.

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Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in the Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia University




This paper is based on a collection of Philippine folk tales recently published by the Field Museum of Natural History. [1] The material appearing in that publication was gathered by the writer during a stay of sixteen months with the Tinguian, a powerful pagan tribe inhabiting the mountain districts of Abra, Ilocos Sur, and Norte, of Northern Luzon. In social organization, government, manner of house building, and many other details of material culture this tribe differs radically from the neighboring Igorot. Observation has also led me to the conclusion that the religious organization and ceremonies of this people have reached a higher development than is found among the near by tribes, and that this complexity decreases as we penetrate toward the interior or to the south. In the main the folk tales are closely associated with the religious beliefs of the present day, and hence it seems unlikely that they will be found, in anything approaching their present form, far outside the districts dominated by this tribe. Nevertheless, isolated incidents corresponding to those of neighboring peoples, or even of distant lands, occur several times... Continue reading book >>

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