Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Notes on the Manobo

Notes and anecdotes on the Manobo or Manuvu, mostly taken from my Filipino 14 class under Mr. Popa.

    The Manobo or Manuvu are a Philippine ethnic group that reside in the provinces of Cotabato, Bukidnon and Davao which comprise Central Mindanao. The word Manobo means tao or human in their native tongue. They live near the shores of rivers, in valleys, hills and mountains.

    The literary traditions of the Manobo remain intact and relatively unchanged throughout the years. During gatherings, the awit (song) or epiko (epic) is used to entertain the townsfolk while also paying homage to the tribe's ancestors and gods. The opening awit or tula (poem) is called the Tabhayanon, which contains the goals and wishes of the singer that he wishes to express. The listeners reply with the ondaon, a sigaw (shout) that signals their agreement and acknowledgement of the importance of the singer's request. The awit or tula is related with such fervor and exhiliration so as to excite the emotions of the listeners, providing them with a cinematic story that raptures them all throughout the session.

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