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Cordillera Literature

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Dannah Calamba

on 21 February 2016

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Transcript of Cordillera Literature

Rice Terraces
The Cordillera region was organized as one administrative region called the
Mountain Province
, with an American governor at helm. From then on colonization proceeded apace. The post-colonial period saw the political reorganization of the Cordillera into separate provinces and the shifting of provincial and regional boundaries.
The indigenous population of the Cordillera actually consists of several distinct ethno linguistic groups, of which the major ones are the
(who concentrated in Benguet),
(in Apayao),
(in Abra).
- used as collective designations for the native peoples of the Cordillera.
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
It composed of the chartered city of Baguio and the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Cordillera Literature
The persistence of traditional culture has ensured the survival of the natives of Cordillera. It has also kept them apart from lowland Filipinos whose way of life has been thoroughly westernized.

Cordillera Literature
is in the oral tradition and may be classified into ritualistic and non-ritualistic.

Ritualistic literature
consists of songs, chants, and narratives which can only be performed or recited in a religious context in the observance of certain rituals or ceremonies in divine or supernatural intervention in human affairs are invoked.

Non-ritualistic literature
consists of secular forms which can be performed on any occasion, during festivities or moment of leisure, to express communal sentiments or personal yearnings.
- a mythical figure known both for wealth and prowess
- it is sung: during the wake for the member of the upper class, at weeding time when women work the rice fields, and during the harvest season
- a
harvest song
because it is sung more often than not during harvest
- only women can sing, with a soloist (sings all the parts that pertain to the story itself) and chorus ( serves as occasional commentator on what is presented in the narrative) singing alternately
Epic Poetry
Many Phil epic traditions have vanished, but at least two long heroic narratives in verse in the Cordillera have been preserved and fully documented – the Ifugao

and Kalinga
Like other Phil folk epics, Cordillera epic poetry revolves around the daring feats and adventures of a folk hero who possesses extraordinary attributes and embodies the beliefs and ideals held by the community.
are long ballads chanted either by men or women during feasts and other social occasions such as peace pact assembles. It represents the epic tradition of Southern Kalinga.
In the northern part of the province the main hero is
, a human being who has supernatural attributes. Called
these epic songs are sung at night during the harvest time and are all about headhunting and courtship, with the narrative being enlivened by elements of magic and supernatural.

has ritual connections and its principal characters are divine beings, not mortal. It also exclusively by men. It may be performed on other occasions, e.g., during the conduct of prestige feasts and at harvest time.
Examples of the Cordillera epic poetry are
The Harvest Song of Aliguyon
(Ifugao) and
The Heroic Exploits of Banna
Cordillera myths talk of a very remote past when the world had not yet taken its present form and human affairs went on with a lot of divine intervention.
Their myths are of a sacred nature, hence there are restrictions as to when and where they can be told. They are recited to affirm the propriety of ceremonies, to summon the spirits, or to validate certain beliefs.
- ritual myth, recited by mediums, meant to explain the origin of the particular rituals and how these rituals should be conducted.

Examples of Cordillera myths are
How Balitok and Bugan Obtained Children
Lumawig and Kabigat

and Kabigat
- are considered as truthful accounts although the events they narrate often takes place at a time that is more recent than the mythological past

- the principal characters are human and not supernatural being, and they are not recited as part of ritual or sacrifice

Examples are
The Origin of Man
(Kankanay) and
The Legend of Magat River
Magat River
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