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the cordillera

the cordillera

The Cordillera mountains in central Luzon is the highest mountain range in the Philippines covering a massive geographic area. The indigenous peoples of this region are often collectively referred to as the Igorots, meaning “mountain people” from the Tagalog root word “golot” or mountain. In truth, they are not a single ethnic group, and do not typically refer to themselves by this name. Just as the mountains of the Cordilleras each create their own incredibly unique micro-ecologies of endemic species, they have also brought forth a diverse array of indigenous human communities. The major ethnolinguistic groups that are considered to be Igorot are the the Bontoc, the Ibaloy, the Itneg or Apayao, Kankanaey and the Ifugaos. Thanks to their successful resistance against the Spanish colonisers they were largely able to keep their culture and traditions alive, and yet inversely their later exposure to English-language education during the American period empowered them to organise and represent themselves in the country’s contemporary political sphere.

To read more about my time spent in some of these communities please see the following post:

People of the Mountains – Igorots of the Cordillera