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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Defaced Igorot

This disfigured Igorot statue half-buried in the heart of the Baguio Centennial Park partly depicts some aspects of the issue on "Igorotness" or Igorot ethnicity:


1. Igorotness cannot be divorced from the the issue of land.


2. The soil that sustains and animates the Igorot is the same soil that immobilizes him; the land that gives him life is the same land that gives him death.


3. The Igorot's "trunk" may well be his "roots."


4. Just as the defaced statue will need frequent restoration or reconstruction, Igorotness will continue to be (re)defined and negotiated.


5. The statue may end up being destroyed for good and in its place a new monument may arise -- just as the Igorotness which many now imagine may be re-imagined and given  new "form" in the years to come.


6. Just as this statue is constructed with wood, steel bars and cement, so is Igorot identity clothed and shaped by the foreign and the native, the artificial and the natural.


7. The Igorot body will likely continue to be a significant -- if not central --  factor to the Igorot's imagined nature. His (half-) nakedness will likely continue to make him the exotic object of the voyeur-tourist.




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1 comment:

Racel Ivy said...

I don't know much about the rich ethnic culture of Igorots. But this gives me a better understanding of Igorots, thus, giving me the opportunity to be more curious and learn more about it.