The Making of the Igorot: Contours of Cordillera Consciousness
- About the Book
The Philippines' Cordilera mountains of Northern Luzon have long been known as home to the 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.
This work 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 the 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.
- About the Author(s)
Gerard A. Finin, Author