The cultures, traditions and existence of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines are threatened by corporate development. Because they have been subjected to systematic discrimination and political disenfranchisement, their cultures have been viewed as inferior, primitive, irrelevant, or something to be eradicated and transformed. Through art, theater, and cultural workshops and classes, Kinding Sindaw seeks to assert, reclaim, recreate, and preserve indigenous Philippine culture and traditions, and shows workshop participants its richness, vibrancy and significance to current and future generations.
Through the use of movements and musical training taught by Potri Ranka Manis and other tradition-bearers, interspersed with lectures about the historical significance of the music and movements, as well as integrated theater arts workshops, participants internalizes the indigenous experience. These workshops are targeted to a broad audience, who wants to develop both artistic skill, and take advantage of educational opportunities of learning an ancient culture. These workshops also develop artists as advocates and leaders in their communities.
We conduct weekly classes for 4 months, focusing on music, dance and martial arts of the various indigenous tribes of the Southern Philippines, held at La Mama Great Jones, on Sundays. We recruit youth to older adults throughout New York City, with the aim of recreating a multigenerational, community-oriented, indigenous way of life and tradition. Recruitment usually takes place through tabling at community events, and through word-of-mouth referral from current participants, largely New York City residents.
Instructors include Potri Ranka Manis, Diane Camino, Rose Yapching, Amira Roca, Guro Frank Ortega, and Nonilon Queano. Potri Ranka Manis, founder and artistic director, have extensively learned directly from indigenous communities, and is from the Maranao tribe, herself. Rose Yapching, Diance Camino, and Amira Roca are all Dance Captains, with extensive training and experience. Nonilon Queano is a master musician, in both drums and kulintang. Guro Frank Ortega who is a martial arts instructor.