Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Tinggians of Abra

The Tinggians is a group of indigenous peoples based in Nortwestern Luzon. They are also called Itneg because they live near the Tineg River. Other terms used for their names are I-tineg, Tinguian, Itinek, Tinguianes, Mandaya and Tingian. They reside in the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Iloilo and greater concentration in Abra.

There are two main groups of these Tinggians. These are the valley Tinggians and the mountain Tinggians. The former is a homogenous group and its population is found in the lower reaches of Abra that depends on wet rice cultivation. The latter’s population is found in higher elevations that thrives on dry cultivation and rootcrops.

I found out that there are subgroups for these IP people. They have subgroups Adassen, Masadiit, Inlaod, Binongan, Aplai, Banao, Gubang, Luba, Maeng, and Balatok. When I joined the Kawayan Festival in Abra recently, I met this group. I saw them partcipate in the parade. They were singing an ethnic song accompanied by the beat of patpato as played by the boys. When I interviewed them they specified that their group is Tinggian Masadiit.

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