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For the town in Nepal see Lihi, Nepal

In Philippine folk culture, lihí is a condition of pregnancy food craving in which a notable characteristic is that pregnant women usually desire food such as sour, unripe mango with bagoong. While it is a cultural concept restricted among the Filipinos, analogous cultural phenomena of pregnancy food cravings have been observed in various cultures. It is still debatable as to whether lihí can be classified and established as either a biological or psychological condition or a purely social and cultural one.[1]


Lihí also broadly encompasses a folk belief that whatever a woman had craved during pregnancy will imprint characteristics on the child. When a child resembles a manatee, for example, it is said that the mother enjoyed looking at that particular animal during the gestational period.

In other regions, lihí refers to the belief that any sensory stimuli imbibed by a pregnant woman influences the development of her child. Among some ethnic groups in the northern Philippines, it is taboo to mention anything about animals such as rats or pigs near a pregnant woman for fear that her child may acquire the features of the mentioned animals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placek C (October 2017). "A test of four evolutionary hypotheses of pregnancy food cravings: evidence for the social bargaining model". Royal Society Open Science. 4 (10): 170243. doi:10.1098/rsos.170243. PMC 5666241. PMID 29134058.