Igorot Dances, 2 of 2 Posts

Friday, November 13, 2009

igorot dancesHere is the second set of Igorot Dances. This set includes the Kayaw, Lumagen, Manerwap, Manmanok, Palakis, Ragragsakan, Sakpaya, Salip and Takik. The list of dances mentioned are from the Bontoc, Bago, Kalinga and Ifugao tribes.

Kayaw (kah-YAHW)

Kalingas of yore considered headhunting a revered tradition. A budong or peace pact is made between ili or village clusters to maintain peaceful relations and security. Breaking this pact by causing blood to flow will inevitably result in kayaw or headhunting. The offended village has the right to raid their transgressors and indiscriminately taking as many heads as they can as trophies. Mangayaw or listening to Idao, a mysterious bird, is supposed to lead a group to a successful head hunt.

Lumagen (looh-MAH-gehn)

This is a dance performed at Kalinga festivals to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Manerwap (MAH-nehr-wahp)

In times of severe drought, the Bontoc Igorots performed rituals imploring Kabunian (God) to open the sky and allow raindrops to water the rice terraces and the mountains. Participants in the Manerwap climb the mountain to reach a sacred place called fawi where they offer a piece of meat and some rice wine to God. Tribal folk rule that participants in the Manerwap must be physically strong to withstand the fast required during the rites, when they're allowed only water and no food. Senior members of the tribe perform the rain dance for two days and two nights, incessantly beating gongs throughout the vigil.

Manmanok (mahn-mah-NOHK)

Three Bago Tribe roosters compete against each other for the attention of Lady Love. They use blankets depicting colorful plumes to attract her.

Palakis (pah-LAH-keehs)

This courtship dance originates from Western Bontoc and is usually performed at weddings and during festivals like the begnas, celebrated by the community before a harvest or planting. The dance is characterized by free-form interactions between male and female dancers, with each dancer carrying a square-meter piece of brightly colored cloth, held or shaken to convey sentiments such as flirtation or desire. A set of four gongs accompanies this dance.

Ragragsakan (rahg-rahg-SAH-kahn)

This is an adaptation of a tradition in which Kalinga women gather and prepare for a budong, or peace pact.

Sakpaya (sahk-pah-YAH)

The hands of Ifugao farmers dig the hard soil and push heavy stones off cliffs to make way for a new rice field, part of the world-famous Banaue rice terraces. High-flying sakpaya birds swoop and hover over the terraces as the Ifugao toil. In times of plenty, the Ifugao farmers give thanks to their sakpaya "gods" by donning traditional costumes and imitating their flight in this dance.

Salip (SAH-lihp)

The Salip of the Kalinga tribe depicts a warrior claiming his bride by presenting her with a matrimonial blanket. The woman responds by balancing several clay pots upon her head. She follows the man to connote obedience. He simulates the movements of a rooster at love play, aspiring to attract and seize his love. A version of this dance has two warriors competing for the approval of the fair maiden.

Takik (TAH-kihk)

The Bontoc tribe performs this flirtation-type dance with five or more male dancers who provide music and rhythms for a male dancer and a female dancer doing a love or courtship dance. The dancers are in single-file forming circular or spiral patterns, and are led by the male dancer, who is immediately followed in the circular path by the chief gongbeater, who usually displays steps more fanciful than those of the rest of his fellow gongbeaters. At one point, he holds his foot sideward in the air, in an eloquent pause.

References: The contents of this page was lifted with permission from Noel's Pilipino Folkdance Glossary: Mountain/Igorot Suite. The original content was slightly altered to fit this site.

Back to: IGOROT DANCES - Part I


Kayni November 13, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

I didn't know there are so many Igorot dances. I know and watched only a couple of these dances. Very informative. Thank you.