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Lingling-o (Picture from ([1]).

The Lingling-o is used as either an earrings or a necklace pendant by the Igorots living in the northern part of the Philippines. It can also be found in other parts of the country and some parts of the Southeast Asia. The Ifugaos wear them as pendants of necklaces while the Bontoc, Kalinga, and gaddang wear them as earrings. The lingling-o found in the different parts of the Philippines are made of different stones from where they have been found. Some findings of the lingling-o in the northern part of the Philippines date about 2,500 years ago. Among the Igorots, the amulet is empowered and purified before wearing through a ritual that involves washing it with blood.


The lingling-o worn by the Ifugao, Bontoc and Kalinga in the mountains of Cordillera are mostly made of gold. This has been considered as a very valuable piece and often used as a gift for weddings. Other lingling-o are made of silver and copper. In some places it is made of jade, shell, clay or stone. The material used in making of the lingling-o is a sign of its owners social status.


The shape of the lingling-o is round and has a slit on the middle for the ear. It has two heads similar to the head of an animal. Strings are attached on it when used as a pendant.


The lingling-o is commonly used as an ornament. According to the local beliefs, lingling-o has supernatural powers that brings luck and improves the owner's fertility. It is also believed that anitos reside in this item.


The possession of lingling-o symbolizes the social status of its bearer. Even in the recent years, the lingling-o has become a symbol of pride worn by the youth of the mountain-dwelling people. The hole at the center of the lingling-o resembles to an outline of an embryo with umbilical cord which is believed to signify to fertility.




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