| Muslim Suite | Mountain/Igorot Suite
| Rural/Barrio Suite | Tribal Suite
The mountain region of Northern Luzon is known by the term
Skyland." Inhabiting this rugged terrain are six ethno-linguistic
tribes known as the Ibaloy, Kankani, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao,
and Bontoc. These tribes, now known collectively as the
Igorots or Mountain people, were generally unfazed by Spanish
colonization. This homogeneous group is recognized by their common
socio-cultural traits. They hold common religious beliefs, generally
animalistic, and make propitiatory offerings to household gods
called anitos. Among these mountain people, dance continues
to be an expression of community life that animates the various
rituals and ceremonies. It serves for self-edification of the
performers and entertainment for the spectators. They dance to
appease their ancestors and gods to cure ailments, to insure successful
war-mating activities,or to ward off bad luck or natural calamities.
They dance to congregate and socialize, for general welfare and
recreation, and as an outlet for repressed feeling. They also
dance to insure bountiful harvests, favorable weather, and to
mark milestones in the cycle of life.
Igorot maidens go to the river and prepare for a marriage ceremony.
They display not only their grace and agility, but also their
stamina and strength as they go about their daily task of fetching
water and balancing the banga, claypots full of water,
on their heads.
Bontoc War Dance
This dance is part of the headhunting and war ceremonials inciting
feelings of strength and courage as the warriors prepare to stalk
their enemy. Much of the movements are improvised; two camps of
warriors are usually featured pursuing each other, culminating
in a melee where a fighter from one tribe kills one of his opponents.
Thanksgiving festivals are one of many occasions for tribal celebrations.
The movements in this dance of the Ifugao tribe, imitating those
of a rooster scratching the ground, symbolize a thanksgiving prayer
to the god Kabunian for a bountiful harvest of rice. Both men
and women express their joy in this thanksgiving.
This is a dance performed at Kalinga festivals to celebrate Thanksgiving.
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 is an adaptation of a tradition in which Kalinga women gather
and prepare for a budong, or peace pact.
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.