Friday, July 8, 2011

Notes on Hudhud and Darangen

*In March 18, 2001, UNESCO recognized the Hudhud chants of the Ifugao of Northern Luzon as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."

*In November 25, 2005, the same recognition was given to the Maranao epic chant, the Darangen.

UNESCO defines oral and intangible heritage as: "the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community, expressed by a group of individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; its standards and values are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means.



The Hudhud is recited and chanted among the Ifugao only during four occasions: the harvesting and weeding of rice, funeral wakes, and bone-washing (bogwa) rituals. Estimated to have originated before the 7th century, the Hudhud is comprised of over 200 stories with about 40 episodes each. The language of the chants, almost impossible to transcribe, is full of repetitions, synonyms, figurative terms, and metaphors. Performed in a leader or chorus style, the lead chanter, munhaw-e - often an elderly woman - recites an introductory line to set the tone, and then this taken up by a chorus of women - the mun'abbuy, to the end of the phrase. This cycle is repeated until the end of the episode. It may take days to complete a story, depending on the situation. The Hudhud is a celebration of Ifugao heroes, heroines, wealth, and culture.

The Darangen is an epic chant associated with the Maranao people, with the core area of habitation being the province of Lanao del Sur in the island of Mindanao.

It is a pre-Islamic form of primarily oral literature, presently existing in an Islamic context. Implications contained in the epic point to influences reaching as far west as India. The epic is the culmination of all these influences and the core culture of the Maranao.

The word Darangen comes from the Maranao word darang, which means to narrate, in the form of a song or chant.

The Darangen is about 17 cycles composed in iambic tetrameter or catalectic trochaic tetrameter. The Darangen is one the lengthiest of the Philippine epics. The available versions alone are contained in 8 volumes which comprise of 47 books or verses in 25 chapters that can be chanted in many days. Preliminary studies suggest that the epic has some 72,000 lines.

An analysis of the role of the Darangen in Maranao society will offer valuable clues into how the Maranao people relied on oral traditions to provide societal norms and solutions to certain economic, cultural, and historical issues in their society. The Darangen remains an important source of information regarding the Maranao value system, social etiquette, mythology, and marriage customs and traditions. Ancient Maranao society was highly structured, and prescribed a strict code of behavior. In addition, the Darangen explores the relationship between the earth-bound society and the more mythical sky kingdoms. More importantly, the Darangen contains the Maranao theories of governance and strategies for war and combat.

For the complete NCCA article click on the link provided below:
Intangible Heritage: Masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity  

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