Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Oral Presentation Session
The Alangan Mangyan, the Blaan and the Ibaloi are Austronesians who live in the mountains respectively in Mindoro, in southern Mindanao and in the cordillera (Benguet province). Drawing on our work with them since 2012, we will present their perspectives and knowledge on birds and discuss human-bird entanglements during turbulent times. Our comparative approach is based on the Field of Anthropological Study (FAS) that encompasses a rich variety of different cultures. This approach was developed by the Leiden school of anthropology, particularly by De Josselin de Jong who was inspired by Marcel Mauss' classic study of Inuit society in its regional diversity. Linguistically and culturally, closely related areas are defined as a field of anthropological study and examined as cultural variants linked by transformations in time and space. The approach assumes that it is only by charting the cultural diversity and richness of local traditions that justice can be done to the general patterns in a field of anthropological study. In this paper, we will argue that whereas among the Alangan Mangyan, bird’s knowledge cannot be grasped without considering their deities, among the Blaan the notion of bird-rhythmic seems fruitful to describe the interpenetration of human and avian beings, whereas among the Ibaloi birds are marked as agents able to predict typhoons.