The Making of the Igorot: <I>Ramut ti Panagkaykaysa dagiti taga Cordillera</I> (Contours of Cordillera Consciousness)


Gerard A. Finin

Governance and Political Change Series


Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press

Available From: Ateneo de Manila University Press; outside the Philippines: University of Hawaii Press
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 971-550-587-6
Binding: paper
Pages: xviii, 345


The Philippines' Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon have long been known as home to peoples termed Igorots. Throughout the Spanish era, however, familiarity among highland peoples was frequently circumscribed. Mutual suspicions and long-standing enmity based on widespread headhunting practices in the Cordillera characterized many intervillage relationships. There was no broadly shared consciousness or solidarity among mountaineers.

The Making of the Igorot examines how and why American colonial rule transformed social and spatial relations across the Cordillera, creating a distinctive pan-Cordillera Igorot ethnoregional consciousness. It analyzes the ways in which establishment of Mountain Province in the early 1900s and the imposition of direct American rule served to discourage contact between highlanders and lowlanders, while reinforcing notions of highlander connectedness. The author demonstrates the central role of Baguio City as an ethnically diverse urban center for cultural comparison and change that served as a crucible for the emergence of a robust Igorot identity. At the same time, he captures how, in different ways, succeeding generations of highlanders embraced the social and spatial bonds associated with "Igorot-ism" and "Igorot-land."

Based on this constructed ethnoregional consciousness, Finin illuminates how Igorots or "Cordillerans" during the 1980s and 1990s articulated this image of oneness in resisting the Marcos regime's dam and logging projects, and in subsequent calls for a Cordillera autonomous region similar to Mindanao.

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