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Lumagen Dance Carries The Kalinga And The Cordillera Culture

The people of Cordillera is known for its rich culture and tradition, and the Lumagen dance is one product of its culture that helps make Cordillera what it is right now.

The name Cordillera is a name that is rich in history too. This was the name that was given by the Spanish Conquistadores when they first saw the mountain ranges in the area. In their language, the term Cordillera means 'knotted rope' and the mountain ranges of the area looks like a twisted and knotted rope from afar.

Geographically and politically the Cordillera where the Lumagen dance can be traced is the only land-locked region in the country and this region host the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao.

The city of Baguio is considered as the administrative center of the region. The region is home to the Cordillera Central mountain range and more importantly the region is home to many indigenous tribes called the Igorot which is the source of their rich culture and many dances like the Lumagen dance.

The Igorot is just one of the many tribes that contribute to the culture of the region which can be seen in its songs and dances and the other tribes in the region are:

. Bontoc
. Ifugao
. Benguet
. Kalinga

These are the tribes that reign over the region and the dance of Lumagen is from the Kalinga. These tribes want to be called by their respective tribal names and don't usually want to be labeled by the collective term called 'Igorot'. These tribes are known to resist the moves of the Spanish colonizers and if the other people in the lowlands was under the culture of colonizers, these tribes protected their common socio-cultural traits. These tribes hold common religious beliefs and these beliefs are often nature-oriented.

Dances of the Cordillera as expression of their beliefs

Among the many aspects of the culture of these many tribes, dance is considered as the most popular expression of their beliefs. Dances continue to be the major expression of the community life that can animate their many rituals and ceremonies. Dances for these tribes are self-edification for them and a form of entertainment for these who observe these dances. There are many other roles for their dances too.

They dance in order to appease their ancestors and to pay tributes to their ancestors. They also dance in for their gods in order to cure their ailments and they also dance in order to insure the success of war activities and they also dance in order to ward off bad luck and to pray that natural calamities may not do harm to their source of living and their everyday life. Dance is a form of socialization too for these tribes like the Kalinga and they often congregate in order for them to unload their feelings.

Lumagen is a dance performed during thanksgiving

And since agriculture is their main source of livelihood, some of their dances too are linked to agriculture- from planting to harvesting. There will be dances that will signify that it is the start of the planting season, and there are tribal dance that are performed during harvesting. These dances are called thanksgiving dances and one example of these dances is the Lumagen dance from the Kalinga culture. The dance from an area called Lumagen is actually a traditional dance that is performed mostly at Kalinga festivals as a way to celebrate Thanksgiving in time of good harvest. The dance is also performed during these events:

. Thanksgiving for the birth of a child in the family
. Victories in battle
. Celebration of marriage

This dance is considered as one of the most difficult dance to perform among the many dances in Cordillera. It can be said too that this can be one of the most difficult dances to perform from among the many Philippine dances.

Though this dance is difficult to perform due to the strenuous dance steps, still its high level of energy and the creativity involved in dancing the Lumagen makes this dance from the Kalinga one of the most entertaining to watch. There are times too when the Lumagen dance is performed in some festivals in the region and during special regional occasions.




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