MA student in Anthropology
Catholic University of Louvain, formerly at Université Laval
Award-winning publication: Saglà kurà. Les combats de chevaux chez les Blaans de Mindanao (Philippines)
Published in: Ethnographiques.org
What makes a horse fight? A corral, human spectators, two stallions and a mare. The betting, rules and competition make these events very popular among the Blaan people, an indigenous group in the Philippines. As the stallions battle for the mare, the horse's owners play a less conspicuous game. Indeed, they clash through imò: secret formulas to ensure their horses win. The research conducted by Antoine Laugrand details the social and cultural aspects of the horse fights, which, for the Blaan, play a key role in marriage arrangements, the appointment of leaders and their overall social relations. The findings expand our knowledge of horse betting and explore a topic that, until now, had been overlooked in contemporary social science research.