Two-Dimensional Representations : Ethnographic Photographs
This ethnographic photograph depicts a Bontoc Igorot warrior. The Bontoc Igorot, of the larger Malay people, are agriculturalists residing in the Northern Torrid Zone of the Philippine Archipelago. They are most well known for their past practice of head hunting, a cultural practice that was not uncommon in the region. Head hunting was traditionally seen as a pastime for men of the society; the Bontoc words for “war” and “head hunting” are interchangeable.
It is also important to note that as with all ethnographic photographs, the concept of representation must be taken into consideration. The man in this photo is, to outside viewers, a projection of a cultural identity. Therefore, it is important to view these photographs knowing that the photographer/photographed relationship plays a role in this representation of the human form, a human subject, and a human culture.