Awiyao and Lumnay most likely to belong to the Igorot people who inhabit the mountain areas of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The Philippine islands were settled by various migrants from Southeast Asia for centuries. These peoples built up a number of different cultures and clan-based social structures on the many islands of the archipelago. In the 1500s, Spain colonized the islands, spreading Christianity and the Spanish language. Following Spain’s loss in the Spanish American war of 1898, the Philippines became a territory of the United States. During World War II, the islands were occupied by the Japanese until gaining their independence in 1945. The Igorot people maintained many of their traditional cultural practices through the late 19th century. Even today, dance and gangsa music form an important part of their celebrations. View the videos below to get a sense of the gangsa sound and the Kalinga wedding dance featured in “The Wedding Dance” by Amador Daguio.
Amador Daguio was born in the Ilocos province of the Philippines in 1912. He began writing poetry in high school and published his first poem before he graduated. Throughout his career, he taught at a number of schools in the Philippines and also worked as a lawyer, editor, reporter, and public relations officer for the Filipino government. In his writing, Daguio seeks to establish a pure Filipino voice, distinct from its colonizers. Even in English, Daguio’s writing is Filipino in essence. In “The Wedding Dance”, he draws upon the culture of his ancestors to explore Filipino traditions along with the universal themes of love, suffering, and societal expectations. You can also read more information about Daguio to elevate your unit.
"The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio is a short story about a husband and wife, Awiyao and Lumnay, who had been married for seven years. In spite of being in love with his wife, Awiyao feels the need to marry again to have a son. At his second marriage celebration, Awiyao goes to check on Lumnay, knowing she is upset. Awiyao thought the answer to Lumnay's sorrow would be to have her join the other women during the wedding dance. Lumnay was in fact at his wedding, but left. She could not stand the idea of her husband marrying another woman because she could not give him children.
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