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Na suklit : Benicio Sokkong and the bamboo musical instruments of the Kalinga : a thesis submitted to the Victoria University of Wellington in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Musicology
This ethnomusicology study explores the contexts of the bamboo musical instruments of the
Kalinga people of the Philippines in two distinct contemporary locations: the urban setting of
Lucnab, Baguio City, and the rural setting of Sukiap, Kalinga. Through the study of the
instruments, the music, and the individuals who participate in the music, I will examine the fluid
and reflexive contextualisation of the music of the bamboo instruments, and how traditional
musics undergo redefinition, reformation and a re-investing with new cultural significance. At
the centre of this thesis lies an individual, Benicio Sokkong, a teacher, researcher, instrument
maker and performer, who is key to the revival of the bamboo musical instruments not only in
Kalinga but also internationally. The two communities focused on in this thesis have direct
connections to Beni: the community of Lucnab, Baguio City, is his current home, and Sukiap
village in Kalinga which is the birth place of his parents and his ancestral home. This study
investigates the contexts of the bamboo instruments in these locations, and the effect of an
individual reviving, recreating, and maintaining musical traditions.
I have employed a contemporary and eclectic approach in presenting the research in this
dissertation, drawing on concepts of ethnic and self- identity (Rice 2007, Stokes 1994, Giddens
1991), revival (Livingston 1999), and the individual (Rice 1994, Stock 1996, Vander 1988). I
argue that although the contexts of music shift from ritual and ceremony to secular gatherings,
and also move geographically throughout local and national locations, the music remains an
expression of community and communal identity. I also posit that the shape and form of the
contexts are created by individuals who participate in the process of revival and maintenance.