Understanding Indigenous Spirituality: The Kankanaey Sida Ritual

Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Janaki Natarajan


Using indigenous spirituality and its manifestation in the Sida ritual as the focus, this study is a historical analysis of the development of class and power relations among the Kankanaey people in Benguet, Philippines. It is an ethnographic study using interviews, story-telling sessions, questionnaires, and observations. These were done in addition to my experiences as a member of the community where I conducted the study.

Twenty respondents were selected to participate in the study; five of them were members of the Papangoan or council of elders in five Kankanaey municipalities in the province of Benguet. Fifteen were Kankanaey professionals who all had experience working with indigenous peoples.

Occupying territories rich in natural resources, indigenous peoples in the Philippines like the Kankanaey continue to be uprooted from their land as a result of changes brought by foreign and government initiated projects like mining, logging, and geothermal dams.

While many Kankanaey have embraced and believe they have benefited from the changes that took place in their communities, there are those who have resisted change and who believe that an understanding of indigenous spirituality will bring back what used to be a classless communal society.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology

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