Iwak

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The Iwak population as a whole is not homogeneous, and they disperse themselves among the dominant ethnic groups living near stream sources in Cordillera and Caraballo mountains. Thereafter, they are acculturated into the characteristics of these dominant groups creating variation of technology,language, and culture. Their settlements tend to cluster on the higher slopes of the mountains near stream sources.

Iwak subsistence technology ranges from the intensive type of wet rice agriculture to slash-and-burn cultivation of both grain and root crops. This is a manifestation of the culture of the dominant tribes around them. Significantly, however, taro is still being cultivated; it is the preferred staple and ritually most prized. Recently, the sweet potato has been supplanting taro in the Iwaks daily diet in most areas but, indicatively, taro is still irreplaceable for ritual purposes.

The market sphere of Iwak produce is concentrated in handicraft manufacturing. They are sold at outlets specifically at the town of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, which is the juncture of the Cordillera and Caraballo mountains. This production is limited to two kinds: basket and broom making. Basketry technique has three classes: Kabang- all purpose back basket; Gipia-small shallow tray used during meal time; and Dakilan — a large flat mostly used during rituals.

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