A. Type of ownership
In the past types of land ownership included private and communal. Private lands are residential and agricultural. Communal would include the forest and pasture lands and owned by a particular community. People had usufruct use to non-private lands and were entitled to the produce. Others could take over the management of the land if the former user decided not to use it.
B. Modes of acquisition
Later, communal pasturelands became privatized when people who had cows laid claim to these. These lands, however, could be used by relatives and bagaen who also accumulated cows and who used some portions for agricultural use. Those who used these lands gave a share of the produce to the landowner.
A person who developed a piece of land for agriculture or residential purposes had ownership right to that land. These landholdings can be transferred to the owner’s heirs.
Land can be acquired through marriage. An example is Mateo Carino who came from Tublay and who married Bayosa who had extensive property in Baguio and the adjoining Chuyo. Being the head of the family, he represented the family in land claims that he later made.
Traditionally, anybody who works the land has prior rights to the fruits of the land and later of ownership through continued use. Some people became big landowners as a result of their use of large tracts of land especially as estancia or pasturelands. In the case of Sioco Carino he persuaded some of his cowherds to settle in Tuba and allowed them use of some of the land until such time that he was able to secure paper documents for these lands. He also brought some of his cowherds to Ansagan. Their descendants are still working on the land Sioco allowed them to use.
The practice of kaising is a way of accumulating property by two families. Here, even relatives are encouraged to marry so that the property remains intact.
Land is also transferred through inheritance. The youngest child gets the biggest share because he/she is expected to stay with the parents for the longer period.
Land can also be acquired by a person when he performs labor for a landowner/ this is called dagbo or compensation for work done. With the introduction of the cash economy, land is transferred through the use of money. The mortgage of land is called salsha. If the mortgagor fails to repay the debt, his land is transferred to the debtor.
Traditionally, land is sold only to people within the community especially relatives. The practice is called daho.
The performance of rituals can also result in the transfer of land from one person to another. When a sick person or his family cannot afford to perform a necessary ritual,
A relative or someone in the community may pay for the animals to be butchered and other expenses. The person’s land can be claimed by the “financier” if he fails to repay what was spent.
The same is true with a dead person. If someone, other than his family spends for the death rituals, the former has the right to claim his land as payment.
C. Land distribution
Land is distributed within the family through inheritance. This is also similar to land transfer. In the past the baknang who claimed large tracts of lands because he had plenty of cows and who had extensive agricultural lands, allowed his pastol and bagaen to use certain portions of his land, usually the peripheries. Some pastol had to go elsewhere when the baknang succeeded in securing paper documents on these lands. Yaris, a pastol of Sioco, moved away from the Tili area when Sioco was able to get documents as proof of ownership of the former pastureland. Other bagaen and pastol were allowed to stay in a baknang’s land without any threat of expulsion.