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|Subject: Tinikling - Instrumental Sun May 24, 2009 3:16 pm
Tinikling is the most popular and best known of the Philippine dances and honored as the Philippine national dance. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles. Tinikling means "bamboo dance" in English.
Considered as one of the oldest dances from the Philippines, this dance was originated in the islands of Leyte in the Visayan Islands. People of Leyte describe the tikling bird as one of the most unique in its movements - walking around and between the tree branches and some grass stems. This bird was named "tikling" from which the Tinikling dance got its name. Because of the creativeness of the people, they imitate this bird by using bamboo poles.
Before this dance became what it is today, it went through an evolution of sorts. Different stories of the Tinikling's origin have been passed down through oral histories and folklore.
One of the stories of the Tinikling's origin may be made up, a fact, or part of a legend. The story says that the Tinikling started by the people who worked on the fields and paddies in the Philippines. When the Spaniards came from Spain and conquered the Philippines, the natives were sent to the haciendas. The natives lost control of their land because they were under the enconmienda system, an economic system that is largely based on rural and agricultural operations of large farmlands administered by caretakers for the King of Spain. The natives had to work all day to please the Spaniards. The natives could have completely lost control of their destiny under an exploitative system. The people of the Philippines worked in the fields and paddies for nearly four hundred years (1500-1898).