Ibwa - The Corpse Eating Demon of the Philippines

According to Philippine folklore, ‘Ibwa’, are ‘Demon who feed on the bodies of the dead’.

Most commonly associated with the Tinguian,  an indigenous people from the mountain province of Abra in northwestern Luzon, in the Philippines.  Ibwa, are evil spirits who once mingled with men in human form, but due to the carelessness of one funeral mourner, who gave an Ibwa fat from a dead man to drink, the Ibwa acquired a taste for the bodies of the deceased.  From which day it has been necessary to protect corpses from the Ibwa’s insatiable appetites.

There are several ways to protect the recently deceased from the attentions of the Ibwa:

* An iron plough point is placed over the grave.  As according to legend, all Demon, and evil spirits fear iron.

* A live chicken with its throat slit is nailed to the door of the home within which lies the body of the dead.  The Ibwa witnessing the suffering of the chicken will fear similar treatment, and fear to enter the home.

* A hole can be burnt into each garment of the deceased's clothing.  As it is said that the Ibwa, in addition to savoring the flesh of the dead, may also grow jealous of the clothing worn by the dead, and may attempt to steal it (and body with it).


Buy on Amazon.com: Traditions of the Tinguian: A Study in Philippine Folklore (Large Print Edition)

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