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Filipino Ancient Unit Pack 2016-10-05

This pack is a smorgasbord of units from the various tribes of Northern Luzon.


Spoiler :

Not much is known about ancient Filipino history, and most of what is known is archaeological rather then concrete records. In prehistory the earliest Homo remains that we know of are the Callao Man (c. 47,000) and the Tabon Man (c. 24,000). It is unknown if the Callao man is a homo sapien at this time. What we know for sure was that these people were not Austronesian, nor were they what can be called Aeta.

At what time the Aeta (commonly called Negritos) entered the Philippines isn't known at this time, nor is their origin as genetic studies are still being done. They do seem to share many genetics with surrounding Philippine population to the degree that cannot be explained strictly through interbreeding and are more closely related to Asians and Oceanic peoples then they are to outside populations from Africa and Europe. They are undoubtedly a surviving branch of colonists who migrated to the Philippines before the development of agriculture. Traits like small stature, wooly hair, and dark skin are useful in a hunter-gatherer society in a tropical rainforest environment near to the equator.

Sometime around 5000-2000 BC Austronesian people, culture and language begin to arrive in the Philippines and interweave with the hunter gathering groups already inhabiting the islands. This branch of Asian people who migrated were colonists who had their genesis in southern China or Taiwan and practiced some degree of agriculture. The natural low populations of hunter-gathering societies made them susceptible to continuous migrations of larger groups of Austronesian moving to the Philippines. These agriculturist groups would have no problems displacing and absorbing the earlier populations. Even when absorbing and intermarrying between the Aeta and Austronesian peoples, the formerly mentioned "Aeta" traits, especially small size, were not as important evolutionarily in an agriculturalist society and became superficial and susceptible to genetic drift. In the preceding centuries, these agriculturalists either absorbed or pushed aside the aborigine hunter-gather groups who would only survived in the land least suitable for agriculture. The remaining foraging groups survive today as the Aeta tribes of the Luzon.

By 1000 BC four kinds of social groups had developed in the Philippines, hunter gathers, warrior societies, farming highland plutocracies and maritime harbor principalities. Communities were composed of small bands and villages, Around 500 BC- 100 AD, waves of new immigrants begin to move into the Philippines bringing new technologies and more complex farming systems. The most notable of these technologies was iron. The new metal helped the formation of even larger communities and more complex tribal groups. Northern Luzon began to develop differently then the south. While the peoples of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao would develop kingdoms, the peoples of Northern Luzon would continue to life in decentralized tribes, though growing in social complexity and wealth through the centuries.

By 500 BC, the Ifugao, or mountain people, arrived in the Northern Luzon and set up terrace based agriculture in the Cordillera Central mountain range. Some of the terraces of the Cordilleras date back two thousand years and are highly elaborate farming systems. These terraces are living prove of the knowledge and organizational abilities of these ancient tribes which continues to this day.

The next major group to arrive was the Indo-Malay people who settled in the Cagayan River watershed to the east of the Cordillera mountains. Ancestors of the modern Gaddang and other groups, these people settled in both the highlands and lowlands of the watershed and arrived in several different waves. All of the groups practice swidden farming and most settlements are located near rivers or coasts. The lowland groups were targeted by the Spanish for forced proselytization so not much is known about them, but the highlanders continue to practice their indigenous culture.

The highland groups of Northern Luzon had a symbiotic existence with the Tagalog kingdoms to the south. The Tagalog kingdoms were apart of the general "indianized" kingdoms of south-east Asia, and later began to absorb Chinese culture after 1000 AD. The highlanders mostly kept their original culture. In theory, the Southern Tagalogs and the northern highland peoples probably shared a more similar culture in the past. Linguistically we know they were probably always distinct groups, but their culture probably had more similarities in the distant past before the increasing outsider contact to the south. As trade led to the development of kingdoms in the south, the culture of the two regions of Luzon began to branch off from one another. The northerners, however, were not cut off in isolation. The people living in the Cordillera highlands and the Cagayan river basin traded with the southerners. Jungle products, gold, and slaves, a product of constant low scale warfare, were always in constant demand in the south and internationally. It isn't known for sure, but Chinese, Japanese and other traders may have visited ports on the northern Luzon seacoast and islands to trade, but this trade may have been controlled by Tagalog kingdoms as well. According to Chinese accounts, Ma'i, a Tagalog kingdom, controlled the Baipuyan islands off the northern coast of Luzon.

Given the remote and inaccessibility of northern Luzon, coupled with the independent nature of many of the tribes living there, the region was always a pain for the Spanish to control during the colonial period. Besides the Cagayan lowlands, Spanish control over these tribes was often nonexistent before the 19th century. Early conquistador expeditions into the Cordillera highlands were launched in order to find the source of the mineral wealth of the highlanders. These were encountered constant resistance and ultimately failed. Pacification and proselytization attempts would begin in the 17th century, the first Spanish mission, "Pudtol"(1604), encountered so much resistance that it had to be reestablished in 1691. Highlanders launched attacks into lowland native Christian communities and harbored native Filipino criminals and outlaws. Missions in the Ifugao and the modern day Mountain Province were only established in the mid to late 1800s. In the legacy of the early Spanish expeditions, the first Spanish mining claim in the Cordilleras was approved in 1856. However, even with proselytization and more direct control, Cordillera highlanders still resisted Spanish taxation and direct control. Indeed, the late historian William Henry Scott described the Cordillera peoples as "tribus independientes".


Spoiler :
The various tribes of Luzon practiced widespread low-scale warfare on each other. Common weapons were spears, numerous blades, javelins and bows Head-hunting was commonly practiced, especially among the Ifugao or mountain people, but it is one of the most anthropological clichés of the region. The raids against the Spanish missions in the lowlands during the 18th century have made head-hunting infamous in the literature dealing with Luzon. However, head-hunting has been show to have varied through the centuries, Renato Rosaldo's "Ilongot Headhunting: 1883-1974" has shown that headhunting has stopped, resumed, increased, and diminished a variety of times in less then a century. Doubtless this process has continued throughout the prehistory of North Luzon. This makes it hard to imagine or recreate what head-hunting was like during the pre-Spanish era, but we can certain it existed in some manner or another.

Spoiler :

Most of the sources for this pack are modern anthropological records. Sadly there is no way of knowing how the ancient people of the Filipinos lived before around 900-1000 AD and for the Northern Luzon highlands, no pictorial or descriptive sources exist before Spanish contact. Nonetheless, a ancient era pack for the Philippines was needed and I created it. Besides the modern sources, the Boxer Codex (c. 1595) was also used as it includes some pictures of the people of Northern Luzon before widespread Spanish colonization efforts.

Unit Info:

Spoiler :
Filipino Warrior (Ipugao)

Filipino Spearmen (Ipugao)

Ifugao is the term used amongst the related people living in the Cordillera Central mountain range. While distinct, these groups share many cultural similarities. Ifugao means "mountain people" and these tribes usually practice terrace based agriculture and, because of the mountainous area and their culture, were resistant to Spanish attempts to colonize and convert them to Christianity. Military-wise the Ifugao are noted for being warlike and most are famous for their head-hunting raids.

The warrior is a stereotypical Ifugao, or highland, warrior, is a combination of several highland peoples to create a generic warrior. The basket hair piece is from these examples, (1), (2). The lion cloth and feather are from this Ifugao colored photograph from 1910, (3).

The spearman is also generic and derived from this old picture of Ifugao warriors during the American-Filipino war, (4).

Scout (Aeta)

The scout is a member of the Aeta, the aborigines of the Philippines and based on the following images, (1), (2). Called "negrito" or little black people by the Spanish, and disparagingly as "tugot/tugut" or forest spirits by the Austronesian tribes, Aeta tribes were hunter-gathers. The Aeta are well known for their wilderness survival skills which are legendary. Many American solders were trained by Aeta instructors before being sent to Vietnam.
It is generally thought that they are the earliest, if not original, human inhabitants of the Philippines. At what time they entered the archipelago is not known at this time.
Over the preceding millennia after the Austronesian migration, the aborigine tribes of the Philippines have been absorbed or pushed into remote areas by the newly arrived agriculturalists. Because even the most basic agriculture society can support four times as many people per acre than a hunter-gathering society, the Austronesian settlers slowly branched out due as their population rose and swamp the aborigine lands with people searching for new farm land. By Spanish contact they only inhabited land unsuited to agriculture. Of course, it should be noted that the Aeta are not a distinct racial group. In some areas certain North Luzon farming villages feature individuals with aborigine features and phenotypes, while some Aeta individuals have stereotypical Austronesian features. This is prove of a on-going process of contact and absorption. In the present, traditional living Aeta tribes are all but extinct with much of the modern population living in urban areas or as farmhands, usually in poverty.

Zambales Archer,

The Sambali or Zambal people are a ethnic group who inhabit the modern province which is name after them, Zambales. These Austronesian people are thought to have originally inhabited Rizal but were pushed north west after the arrival of the Tagalogs. The Zambal people were noted for being great warriors and raiders and they were usually always willing to raid Christian settlements. They were also employed as soldiers by rebelling native commanders during campaigns against the Spanish.
This unit is based off of the Boxer Codex illustration featuring two Zambal warriors with bows and a short knife, (1).

Filipino Axeman (Kalinga Headhunter, Loincloth)

Filipino Axeman (Kalinga Headhunter, Sarong)

The Kalinga are noted for their Bodong peace pacts between their different tribes which minimize warfare between their related tribes. They are thus some of the better organized of all the Ifugao. The northern Kalinga men are noted for caring more about their dress and ornaments then any other Ifugao group and are known for favoring red dyes. Before the modern age they were probably the most famous headhunters. These two units are based off of the following examples, (1), (2). And an old photo of the Kalinga police force, (3).

Filipino Axeman (Bontoc Headhunter)

The Bontoc are one of the other groups of tribes from the Cordillera mountain range. Inhabiting the banks of the Chico River, the Bontoc are known for their distinctive rhythm dance dramas where they act out certain portions of a hunt. Like the Kalinga, they are noted for their headhunters. This unit is based off of these examples, (1), (2), (3).

Filipino Archer (Ilongot)

Filipino Javelinman (Ilongot)

The Ilongot are a highland tribe that dwell in the Sierra Madre and Caraballo mountains. Well known for being headhunters and raiders, like many others in Northern Luzon, the Ilongot were noted warriors. Notably the Ilongot tribes have very little social stratification and gender inequality, especially when it comes to home life. The javelinman is based off of an image of warriors (1), while the archer is based off this picture of hunters (2).

Filipino Swordsman (Gadding)

Filipino Chariot

The Gadding inhabit the Cagayan river basin. While the lowland living Gadding were proselytized by the Spanish, the highlanders continued to resist and held on to their native way of life. The Swordsmen is based off of a few examples, (1), (2), (3). The Chariot is based off of a picture of a Cagayan native warrior from the Boxer Codex, (4), this may be a image of a lowlander before Spanish contact.

Filipino Horseman,

As far as I know, cavalry was not used by the groups of northern Luzon. But one unit has been included to complete the pack.
The horseman's look is loosely based off of the dress of the Itneg or Tinguian people of Northwestern Luzon, (1). The helmet is based off of this wooden example from the Ifugao province, (2).

Animations directions are in the zip.

Please leave comments in the thread.


Animations directions are in the zip.

Other Filipino Unit Packs:
Filipino Medieval Unit Pack
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