Reading Albert Jenks’ The Bontoc Igorot

Before I started reading Albert Jenks’ book on the Bontoc Igorots, I was ready to be offended. I was also prepared to write a snarky review and to bash the book with the righteous rage of an Igorot whose ancestors were slandered by an American writer.

I assumed that since Mr. Jenks is a “modern” American writing about the “primitive” Igorots in the early 1900s, he will be paternalistic and judgmental. In other words, I was prepared for him to say things like “Ugh, this people are really uncivilized. I’m glad we white people are here to save them.” Or “These people will all go to hell because they are not Christians.” You know stuff like that.

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