There was no formal government, only informal one. Order was maintained in the community through the observance of customs and traditions practiced and which were handed down from generation to generation. The unit of government was the kailian which was the community, whose membership enjoyed mutual sharing of meat to his house.

The people who made decisions in the community were the old folks whose responsibilities was to guide the people in the observance of customs and traditions. These were the baknang. The mambunong were also part of the decision making body. Among their duties were deciding cases either through the tongtong (the amicable manner of settling conflicts by mutual agreement of the parties involved at decisions arrived at by the old folks in cases like land disputes; or through the use of guilat (ordeal)).


There was a deep commitment to truth and unfailing belief in the justice of Kabunian which was implored by the people specially the community leaders when deciding cases. Accused or suspected persons were made to take their oath before the people to tell the truth and nothing but the truth asking Kabunian to decide the case by showing favor to the innocent ones. There were types of ordeals resorted to prove the guilt or innocence of a person. One is the boiling water ordeal where the accused person/s were asked to pick something from a pot of boiling water. If he is successful at getting the object, he is free and if he fails, he underwent punishment. Another ordeal was letting the accused to cross dangerous and deep part of the river from 3 to 6 times.


Relationship of people in the community.

The kailian belonged to one tribe who were united for defense in case of danger or in war with other tribes that try to get into the community. People within the community were classified into three namely: the baknang (rich), the abiteg (poor) and the bagaen (servants).

A man who performed many cañaos was classified baknang. He was identified by the salibibo wound around his head for three to seven times depending on the grade of cañao he has performed. The Salibibo was a piece of cloth usually red, blue, white, or brown. The baknang possessed vast tracts of lands and plenty of animals, and other properties like jars, and lived in big houses.

The abiteg possessed less property although they can still afford to be self-sufficient. The poor people serve the rich during cañaos. First, they prepared the food for the rich people and after they were through eating they are next to eat their share of meat. The poor people wore ordinary turban taken from the bark of the latbang tree.

The baga-en were the poorest people in the community. They possessed nothing or little property except a small hut for shelter.

The baga-en worked for the baknang. They may be paid or not but they were provided with food and clothing by the rich man for whom they work. They served as long as the rich man needed their services. Servant cannot marry the daughter of a rich man, but the son of the servant may marry the daughter of the rich man especially if the man was very industrious, of good and sound health, a fighter, and intelligent.