Our group came up with concept map that illustrated our ideas when the perception of the indigenous peoples came into our minds. When we hear the said concept, the immediate idea that comes into our minds is the ceremonies that IPs do. We know that their ceremonies or rituals are part of their religion. They believe in spirits, in the notion of the after-life having spiritual leaders guiding them through the visions that the sacred aura gives them. Most of the IPs are very animistic and are called pagans by the Westerners due to the lack of formality in religion, meaning no temples are built for a proper religious ceremony.
They practice both primary and secondary burial in the belief that their souls would have to journey to another dimension called the “after-life”. The next thing that comes into mind is their customs and traditions. Every indigenous group has a distinct set of customs or habits. They preserve their songs, dances, literature, prayers and many others through oral tradition. In the Philippines, only the Muslims have the written tradition called tarsila. Art is a very evident characteristic that indigenous groups exhibit.
The tattooing tradition which is very evident in many Austronesian societies is a status symbol. Elders and Datus who are considered the tribal leaders are seen with more tattoos than those who have low social status. The term tanda in the Philippines means wisdom which is an indicator of respect for the elders. Every indigenous group has its own language. Language is the factor, which makes an individual belong to an ethnic or ethno-linguistic group. Language is the collection of the vocabulary available in a culture.
Language is termed as a dialect when there is a regional distinction of a language from the mother language. It may become evident in accent, grammar system and semantics. We have cited some examples such as the Ilocanos, Ifugaos and some foreign to us, the Aztecs. Last main branch on the concept map is the concept of heritage. All indigenous groups are struggling to preserve their heritage and culture which is why tribal laws prevail over any other constitutional or civil law in the country.
They are very resistive to alien influence which makes them prone to social and racial discrimination promoted and propagated by some stupid multimedia. Their heritage is very reflective of their economic direction. They rely on a self-sufficient subsistence economy. They have no imperialist ideologies. They only tend to survive their tribe and cultivate their own environment. Agriculture and fishing are the main sources of living especially in tropical countries. They are the stewards of many ecosystems in the land, rivers and seas.
Many IPs in the country have built nipa huts as their shelter. They have built houses such as the bahay kubo because most of the time, when a relative dies, they burn their houses due to their belief that spirits cause illnesses and should leave the homes of the inflicted. For the Ivatans of the Batanes Group of Islands, Spanish influence is already observed in their stone houses which are their defense to the perennial tropical storms that tend to devastate their crops and homes.
Courtney from Study Moose
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