Image: Bain News Service / Library of Congress
A huddled group of Igorrotes is watched over by curious spectators in Coney Island.
A loincloth-clad man tugs a dog into the arena as his fellow tribespeople begin to dance erratically. The canine, perhaps sensing its fate, growls viciously, but to no avail. It is neatly dispatched by a cut to the throat, dismembered and then flung into a cooking pot. Curious onlookers are separated from those undertaking the ritual by a fence made of bamboo. And those watching could be forgiven for not believing their eyes. Even in Coney Island, a part of New York renowned for its spectacle, this was something else entirely.