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Dance Bumbuak
Dance Culture Highland Cordillera
Place of Origin  
Ethnolinguistic Group Gaddang
Classification Courtship , Mimetic
Background / Content

In 1987, a relatively small tribal community was stumbled upon by traders, introducing the Gaddangs to this busy world and the world to them. Before their “discovery” they happily tilled their fields, cared for their children, cured their sick, wove and embroidered their textile. All these have changed. In one of their wondering into the metropolis while peddling their precious beads and items of antiquity, they accidentally roamed into the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Center. That was a pleasant meeting. It introduced us to the magnificent material and social culture of the Gaddangs. They proved to be live specimen of people and things past, pictures-come-to-life from a history book, a tribal group we thought have been lost decades ago. There they were parading before our eyes. When the spell, they cast on us broke we gently run our fingers through their magnificent costumes, fingering their precious body ornaments, their necklaces, combs, headbands, bracelets, neckpieces, chokers, earrings and rings of fine glass beads. We realized that their incredibly rare and beautiful toppers, skirts , g-strings belts, capes and scarves embellished with fine embroidery and traced with even finer sand beads (which are their daily wear) are long sought after items by collectors. We are told that to join one of their celebrations was to feast on more exotic festive wear displayed purposely for dancing. Although the Gadddangs do not have plenty to celebrate for, they have time to dance and make merry. Most of their dances accompanied by bamboo resonators, stumpers and brass ganzas are gentle and almost stationary. One of the more traditional dances is BUMBUAK where three ‘ tobacco” trees attract three Gaddang “birds”, 2 females and a male. These “birds’ fly and glide through the trees. When exhausted they perch.

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