A poor Ibaloy is buried immediately. The well-to do bury their dead on the 4th, 6th, 8th or 10th day. A variation would be burial either on the 4th, 7th, 9th, or 16th day. The last is applicable to the rich or kadangyan. If one’s father was buried after 4 days, one should not exceed it. The wake should last 4 days or less.
The wake of a child lasts four days while a married person with children has a wake from 7-12 days. The dead person is covered with a death blanket called kulabao aside from ordinary clothing.
In the past a rich person would be placed on a wooden death chair or sangchil or saradan. A vat of boiling herbs and leaves are placed under the sangchil to preserve the body. Family members seat and eat near the chair. A mambunong also performs rituals near the body. Everyday of the wake , a male and female animal of the same species, is butchered, cooked and served to the people. The same is true with a person who has been raising animals like dog, chicken or cow in life.
When a person dies, his body is bathed and clothed and then placed on a wooden coffin. Traditionally, the coffin should have no iron nails. The number of animals such as pigs or cows butchered depends on his economic status. Friends and relaties come to the wake to chant the ba’diw and partake of the meat. Rice wine or tapey is passed around.
The Ibaloy prefer to bury their dead under the house where it will not get wet. A variation is for the body to be buried under the edge of a roof so that rain falls on the grave. Others bury their dead in their land to prove ownesrhsip. The dead are also interred in caves or rock overhangs in the mountains. A male’s head faces east while the female’s head faces west. Secondary burial or ka-il is also practiced. The dead person’s remains are retrieved and the bones are cleaned and arranged in proper order and later wrapped in a blanket before interment. The ritual is presided over by a mambunong. Animals are butchered and served to the people. Rice wine or tapey is also served.
There are various reasons for holding secondary burial. A person who dreams of a dead relative must perform the ritual as the latter may need new clothes/blankets or need to be remembered. A person who leaves the area as a result of migration or land sale brings along the dead. In case of development projects that affect burial grounds, expenses for secondary burial rituals are shouldered by the project.
Deben- rest day for those who attended a burial. It is believed that something bad will happen to someone who attended a burial and later goes out with friends. The rest period usually lasts for three days.