Menu Close

Sala ti Mais

Dance Sala ti mais
Meaning Dance of the corn
Dance Culture Lowland Christians
Place of Origin Province of Isabela
Ethnolinguistic Group llocano Ibanag
Classification Occupational
Background / Content

Isabela earned Its name as the corn granary of the Philippines, owing to the vast expanse
planted to com, extending to as far as the eyes can see.

Specializing in the big yellow variety, Isabela has employed the most number of com farmers in
Cagayan Valley. Between planting and harvesting the farmers return home to other chores. Harvest
time tums the entire cornfield into a big festival ground.

Some days before the big harvest, long and healthy ears of com are chosen and decoratively
set on a sunburst totem pole staked in the middle of big clearing. It serves as the festivals’ center
ground. Tables and mats set with food and drinks are arranged along the perimeter of the clearing to
which the revelers fill up. The com field festival lasts for several days.

The first day is always the best and well-attended , boisterous and merry. Wine makes singers
sing more and dancers dance more, Farmers who come in costumes in the colors of corn – yellow, green and beige are delightful to behold. A moderately-tailed siete cuchillos, a wide-sleeved topper and a be-ribboned hat make a stunning picture of a farmer-lass. Well-scrubbed, fresh smelling young man looks outstanding in his pinukpok shirt, pants and hat.

As soon as the local rondalla strikes up the familiar music of sala ti mais, many dash for a place
in the dance area. Holding two ears of corn each, the farmers playfully depict everything that hap-
pens in a cornfield. Assembly of the dance starts to manifest as soon as circle, lines and serpentine follow-the-leader formations and other floor patterns emerge to picture the placement of farmers working in the fields. For a finale, the party-going farmers thankfully raise ears of corn in reverence to the Great Corn Giver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.