HomeMALAYvol. 31 no. 1 (2019)

Bogwa: A Cultural Exploration of the Ifugao Oral Tradition

John A. Amtalao | Feorillo Petronilo A. Demeterio III



Bogwa or bonewashing is one of the rich forms of oral traditions in Ifugao. Namogwahan – native term for the process of performing the Bogwa – is mostly performed in the following circumstances: deceased parents appear in the dreams of their loved ones particularly the family members; any of the relatives get sick; a widow asks for the blessing to marry again; and children who want to commemorate their departed parents. The researchers analyzed the process and ways of Bogwa by means of listing the primary and most common terms used in the tradition based on standards set by oral history method. It was culled out that 13 key terms on the materials and 14 key terms were used in the process and individuals mentioned in the execution of Bogwa. Aside from noting the key terms, the researchers had also conducted formal and informal interviews with individuals who had witnessed, felt, and performed the Namogwahan to validate the gathered key terms. In addition, the researchers also analyzed written and published articles and videos about Bogwa as a way of enriching oral tradition. Truly, Ifugao has rich authentic culture that contributed to the development of the country’s identity.