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Seven Dances of Life 2018

This documentary talks about salient socio-religious practices of two Sama speaking communities (in Tawi-Tawi and Tabawan islands), South of the Philippines. Through ethnographic interviewing interspersed among a series of Sama Tabawan dance (igal), it explores the foundation of Sama ritual celebrations (pagjamu), which express the duty participation of individuals of their respective communities and lineages Cosmology in Sama culture is complex. An individual in a community has to adjust to the demands of the cult of the ancestors one is born into, the veneration of saints in sacred shrines (specifically the tombs of Moslem mystics who introduced Islam in the Philippines), guardian spirits of nature that provide them with fresh water and fish from the seas, and the presence of the jin at the margins of habitation which constantly need to be appeased. The relationships of the individual are therefore oriented to Others in nature and society and reveal a sophisticated indigenous thinking about individual lives (inyawa) being 'thrown into' a network of invisible connections with other beings in the cosmos such as the jin (nature spirits), umagad (lost souls), ombo (ancestors) and kembal (twin-spirit).

Jose Semblante Buenconsejo

All Systems Operational

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