Ants For Breakfast

A view from the remote Philippine highlands where the author’s time in the kalinga homeland was packed with the elements of a thriller novel: mystery, danger, sex, violence, death—and research too!

Ants for Breakfast is about the adventure of modern archaeology. Seeking insight into prehistoric pottery manufacture and use, archaeologist James Skibo traveled to the remote Phillippine highlands to live with the Kalinga people, once headhunters, and one of the few groups in the world who still use ceramics for cooking.

Even as he looked for clues to the past in the practices of the present, the author’s time in the Kalinga homeland was packed with excitment: mystery, danger, sex, violence, and death. It was also an opportunity to taste a world both subtly and vastly different, while adding a new perspective to his own. In the course of his narrative, Skibo seizes every opportunity to link his experiences to the development of modern archaeology, and to such topics as human evolution, the peopling of the world, animal domestication, cultural logic, food taboos, basketball, Indiana Jones, and even Imelda Marcos.

James Skibo is professor of anthropology at Illinois State University. He is the author of numerous books on anthropology and archaeology and series editor of the Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry series.

Table of Contents:


1. Living Archaeology
2. Funerals Are Fun
3. Once Were Headhunters
4. Ants for Breakfast
5. The Bamboo Classroom
6. "Are We in Danger?"
7. What Does in Must Come Out
8. Kalinga Justice
9. When a Town Gets a Road the People Go Crazy

About the Author

Praise and Reviews:
“Necessary for guests in an unfamiliar culture, especially where a strong oral tradition and community participation shape most decisions. Skibo’s writing style is clear, unemotional and instructive.”—Utah Archeology

“James Skibo has provided grist for many mills.”—American Anthropologist

“Skibo writes a pleasantly laidback prose. His anthropological stories will charm readers who care about the Kalinga or about similar groups—or about their cookware.”—Publishers Weekly

“You’ll love his adventure packed tale, with its documenting of life among former headhunters.”—The Telluride Watch