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Dance CultureIndigenous Hill Community
Place of Origin Lake Seibu, South Cotabato
Ethnolinguistic GroupT’boli
ClassificationEntertainment / Mimetic
Background / Content

No other tribal group could be more exotic than the Tiboli or Tabali living around lake Sebu of South Cotabato. Every- day to the Tibolis, is always a special day and therefore special attention is given to the way they dress.

The Tiboli women prefer to appear in a merry mix of colors. To start with, she has a long sleeved blouse of blue cotton meticulously em- broidered with geometric designs, flowers, figures of man with vari-colored threads. Her skirt a tye- dyed tinalak cloth (woven fine abaca fiber) with snake or crocodile designs. She frames her face with strands after stands of glass beads, and accen- tuates her thick bangs with more beads and several brass or wooden combs with dangling strands of beads. Fine horsehair chains decorate her under- chin, the ends of which reach up to her earlobes and dangle as earings. Wide chokers and at least 10 necklaces complete the pieces. The list of her body accessories starts with plenty of brass armbands, a wide brass belt (similar to a coat-of-mail) with hundreds of brass bells dangling on each end, 10 to 20 singkil piled one each leg up to the knees, and all her fingers and toes wrapped with wound brass to pass as multi-coiled rings. What better specimen could there be of a living tribal beauty. In this fanciful get-up Tiboli women performs the KARASAGUYON, one of the many gay Tiboli dances to welcome visitors. The Karasaguyon weaves around a polygamous man in the process of choosing his 5th wife. Tiboli men are allowed to marry as many wives so long as they find the need and the ability to support them. Many wives means many hands for the fields and for household chores. A man, however, cannot re-marry without the consent of the first wife whose usual preferences are her sisters or cousins. The Karasaguyon shows how the girls endlessly preen themselves to get the attention of their man. Need- less to say not one of them would let go without a fight. Tiboli girls marry at 10 or 11.

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