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Applai refers to the indigenous people of the Western Mountain Province residing in the municipalities of Besao, Sagada and parts of Sabangan, Bauko and Tadian. The term Applai is popularly used by the Eastern people to refer to the Mountain Province Westeners, in the same manner that the Easteners are called "I-lagod."

Sometimes, Applai is referred to as Kankanaeys of the Mountain Provinces because of some similarities. Noting however, the difference in culture from the Benguet Kankanaeys, especially in ritual observance, then Congressman Alfredo Lam-en, himself an Applai, had the "Applai" accredited as a separate tribe.

The Applai tribe living in one community is consists of two social classes,the rich called Kadangyan and the poor referred to as Kodo. Kadangyans usually attain their social status by lineage, intermarriage, or accumulated wealth. Though separated by social status, they share each others happiness and burden, having mutual understanding among the villagers, and cooperating especially in community rituals associated with the agricultural cycle and other rituals affecting the whole community.

The Applai observes their own customs and traditions during occasions like weddings, death or other community related affairs. For example, they convene to do the ceremonies for Kabuyan as the supreme being.

The Applais engage in a variety of economic activities all year round. Wet farming, slash and burn agriculture, camote farming, trade and handicraft like backloom weaving, bamboo basketweaving and pottery are among their activities as a means of living. They also raise fruits and vegetables in all seasons of the year. Just like in early times, they raise domesticated animals such as chickens and dogs. Pigs are raised in their dugungan or gongo (pigpens) which are usually built within the premises of their houses

Applai villages are compact settlements which are divided into sections. Every section belongs to o­ne Dap-ay or Abong. The number of dap-ay depends o­n the population of the village. The dap-ay is a place to meet and settle disputes and hold meetings. It also serves as a center of all religious rites. The council of elders called the Amam-a forms the decision making body for the dap-ay.




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