Na Suklit: Benicio Sokkong and the Bamboo Musical Instruments of the Kalinga
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.