Indigenous peoples of La Trinidad traditionally managed and used a very wide range of land and other natural resources including forest lands, agricultural lands, water resources, etc. Most of them have been conducting rotational swidden (uma/numa) agriculture for a very long period of time and in most cases it is an integral part of their culture. The traditional boundaries of forest and communities were clearly defined by mountains, streams, ponds, etc. According to interviewees, the people did not have boundaries to show properties because the land and forests were free for them to use according to their needs.
Our early ancestors were pre-occupied with agriculture. Their forests, generally pine clad, provided construction materials for their huts, stables and household paraphernalia. They maintained swidden farms on the hillsides, carved rice terraces along mountain slopes, along rivers, creeks, streams and rice fields in the marshy valley. Rice and root crops comprised their diet, which they fed on alternately, accompanied by meat from the wild game which they hunted from the surrounding forest and fish from the rice paddies and rivers in the valley. They also hunted wild birds which flocked on the lake located in the middle of the valley. Meat from pigs and other large animals like cows, carabaos and horses were plentiful and shared during the year-round prestigious feasts tendered by the bacnang (wealthy) or from less prestigious feasts tendered by the neighbors.
The pasturelands (pastolan) or estancia (borrowed from Spanish word) were located on the hillsides primarily for cattle and horses. In their backyards, the Trinidad Ibaloys domesticated pigs mainly for canaos and chicken for household consumption. It was common among villagers to fence their home lots to prevent their domestic animals from straying to their neighbor’s yard. Their home gardens (baang,), abounded with vegetables, rootcrops, fruit trees, medicinal herbs and spices.
Generally, the Ibaloys/Ivadoys of La Trinidad maintained the following land use patterns:
Pastolan – where large animals such as cattle and horses are free to graze and an enclosure called “coral” is located.
Uma – a swidden farm in the hillsides planted to root crops and other vegetables such as:
Payew rice fields planted to kintoman (native rice) used for making tapuy (native rice wine). Along the canals or edge of the rice fields, taro is planted. This practice is called teneng to the Ibaloys.
Bangkag – dry land planted to rice or taro.
Baeng, Ba-ang or Ba-angan – backyard planted to bananas, coffee, sugar cane or vegetables.
Kabba – communal forests used for hunting (pan-anupan) or fuel gathering (pangiwan). This is where the people get their lumber (bantala-an).
Pangalbasan – place where they get cogon, salugsug & afay.
Burial grouind – the Ibaloys traditionally buried their dead under their houses or in caves.
Nanbaleyan – homelots