Mindanao, the Philippines’ southernmost island, is the country’s cultural melting pot. It houses influences from Spain, China, Indonesia, and the Middle East. Although Mindanao carries a strong flavor from other lands, there are people who have lived there before it became a breeding ground of foreign trade. Tribes such as the T’boli, Bilaan, Manobo, Bagobo, and other groups inhabit the vast regions of Mindanao.
Like their Northern Luzon counterparts, these groups honor pagan gods for the fruits and trials of daily life. What distinguishes them from other tribes in the Philippines is their intricate craftsmanship in metal, clothing, and jewelry. These tribes pride themselves in their concept of beauty and are known for creating colorful sets of jewelry and clothing out of dyed pineapple and banana fibers with are showcased in their traditional dances.
Pockets of cultural minorities live in the style of their ancestors in the hills and mountains throughout the Philippine Archipelago. As in most ancient cultures, their dances are closely intertwined with rituals, sacrifice, and life.
The following pieces are only a few selections from KP’s repertoire.