Performing Native Identities

Human Displays and Indigenous Activism in Marcos’ Philippines

Authored by: Talitha Espiritu

The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415641470
eBook ISBN: 9780203081846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136175961


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In 1974, the Marcos regime enlisted 20,400 citizens and 50 tribal groups to reenact the history of the Philippines in a mass ceremony called Kasaysayan ng Lahi (History of the Race). But between 1974 and 1983, the Kalinga and Bontoc mountain peoples—two of the indigenous groups showcased in that mass ceremony—were the targets of militarization in the name of “national development.” A spurious program in natural resource extraction threatened the destruction of their ancestral lands, even as these communities were conscripted to perform their indigenous identities for tourists. With only a handful of defiant journalists in the controlled media to publicize their causes, these communities fought at a disadvantage for their cultural survival.

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