Due to copyright restrictions, this image is for 21AM use only.

View in Hypermedia

Head Axe

Data currently unavailable


Data currently unavailable


Data currently unavailable

Language Group


Artist Collective

Data currently unavailable

Geographical Setting




Making Classification

Data currently unavailable

Making Sub Classification

Data currently unavailable

Anthropological Class

Data currently unavailable

Museological Class

Data currently unavailable

Museological Sub Class

Data currently unavailable


Good and stable


Polished Iron, Wood, ratan, silver


48.00 x 31.80 x cm

Artist Statement

Data currently unavailable


Data currently unavailable


The Kalinga axe of this particular shape and sharpness was the instrument of preference and tradition for taking heads. The axe shape is ergonomically shaped for slicing through bone and flesh quickly, facilitated by the axe’s center of gravity that brings it to move down when delivering the blow to the neck. The pointed tip is used to pick up the fallen head immediately after it falls. The Kalinga headhunter delivers his blow while on the run. He does not stop to kill, but continues his forward motion back to home village with as little pause as possible. The entire act of headhunting was entry into a trance-like state involving non-stop running to target and back home. The hunt is punitive. However it is of a vastly different order of action from other punitive expeditions of Filipinos of dominant language groups. The difference is in the embeddedness of the headhunt in indigenous (Austronesian) systems that constantly seek restoration equilibrium to balance reciprocation and exchange. In contrast, modern political contests that result in violent death are often embedded in conflicting versions of moral and social order.


The exclusive Intellectual Property Rights of the information contained in this website remains with the artist/s and the Cultural Center of the Philippines and is protected by the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. No part of this website may be reproduced, published, distributed, or transmitted in any public form or by any commercial means without prior written permission of the artist/s and CCP.

For permission and licensing requests, email vamd@culturalcenter.gov.ph.


We are committed to learning more about our collections and updating the content of this website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Please contact us at vamd@culturalcenter.gov.ph.