Philippine Maharlika Folklore Tanzgruppe Kaiserslautern e.V.

Northern Dances of the Cordillera Region

The mountain chain of the Central Cordillera of Northern Luzon is also known as the „Philippine Skyland“. There are six ethnolinguistic groups of this particular region: Abaloy, Kankanay, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao and Buntoc. These tribes are homogeneous and have their own social structure and own religion, which is in close touch with nature. For the sake of simplicity, all of these six tribes were called Igorot by the Spanish conquerors and by other Europeans.

Dances and dance rituals of these tribes have different essential meanings. They dance to honor their ancestors and gods/goddesses or to avoid calamity and misfortune, they dance to ask for a good harvest and they dance to nurture good social contacts. To enumerate two of the dances of the region:

The Banga-Dance

This dance originates from the Ifugao region, where the „eights wonder of the world“, the Banaue Rice Terraces, is located. The dancers show the daily ritual of fetching water with the use of clay pots, which they balance on top of their heads.

The Bumayah-Dance

Harvest festival is one of various occasions the clans celebrate. The movement in this particular dance imitates the scratch movement of a cock. This symbolizes the worship to the god Kabunian for a better rice harvest.