SOCIAL PRACTICES

SAGAOK - This is sometimes compared to a practice of social taxation where an usok of fortunate yield (tama)is opened to other miners (traditionally elderly men or women) for a given period for them to extract whatever the bounty that they may be shared Strict protocol also must be observed in sagaok as not to disturb, destroy or unsettle the guardian spirits of the workplace; as like the forests, farms and rivers, the mines is also regarded as a fortunate endowment upon the workers who toil; and to abuse or utter any disrespect must not be tolerated.

Some tunnel operators who may provide sagaok nowadays opt to dole out cash instead so as to secure the tunnels from unscrupulous activities.

NGILIN – Usually a given period of rest and abstinence due to unfortunate circumstances or events that may have stricken a member of work gang. Sometimes a ngilin can be community-wide as it may be deemed so by the community leadership. Strict observance of the ngilin keeps gang members from work for even over a week or sometimes a month.

Strict observance of diet – Gang members are told abstain from everything that is nalangsi or of repugnant smell: Canned fish, dog meat, cat meat, goat meat, horsemeat and the like. This observance is enforced until the end of the mining season, usually when an amount of profitable yield is produced.

TABOOS - Illicit sex, drinking and rowdiness in the work place, loud rambunctious behavior, mocking and ridicule of instituted beliefs.

Any behavior that is deemed offensive to the spirits that keep the gold is strictly culled out of the work place. Any member who breaches protocol is expeditiously taken out of the gang and banned from the work place.