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MeaningTo jump / Happy Break
Dance CultureHighland Cordillera
Place of OriginMayaoyao, Ifugao
Ethnolinguistic GroupIfugao
Background / Content

The Ifugaos who stunned the world with their achievement, the marvelous famous rice-terraces the 8th wonder of the world – also excel in other wonders including the preservation of extraordinary and exotic village traditions.

One among these is the renewal of one’s social status in the village.Prestige feasts like the “”hagabi””, “”canao'”” where a person’s and social class is further strengthened by proving that he can invite the the entire village to a music dance-food-wine filled celebrationare the most attended ones. In this occasion the musician and dancers are given the chance to show off the village’s best music and dance there is. Hundreds of chickens, dozens pigs and 2 or 3 carabaos are butchered for food for all who may come. It is the obligation for all who partake of food to dance during the 3 or 4 days celebration. Aside from the traditional Bumajah,

Uyaoy and Dinuya which are danced during the festivals of the same name, usually to thank the gods for a good harvest or for the health of the villagers or for the well-being of a newly wed, (to jump) dance is performed as a unique exhibition of skill and dexterity by powerfully built Ifugao braves who dart in and out of sticks struck in musical syncopation. The PAYPAY TO represents a happy break from the farmers busy everyday work. At the end of the day while they sip fermented tapoy wine they play their ganza and dance the PAYPAYTO which represents high-flying birds disturbed by hunters from their perch and flutter away to safety. Since this is an all-male dance, each dancer displays his skill in jumping in and out striking sticks. Such is fun when a dancer gets caught or falls out of balance. Oftentimes the dance-game last till the wee hours of the night.”

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