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Matris ti kinaasinno/womb of being

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Item Summary

Title: Matris ti kinaasinno/womb of being
Authors: Ortega, Nadezna Agcaoili
Keywords: Ilokano
Issue Date: Aug 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
Abstract: I begin with my story to provide a voice: an immigrant Ilokano woman's voice that carries with it the cries of the Ilokano community and other marginalized people of the world. These cries are cries against injustice and oppression. These cries not only unearth the repression and pain of the community but also challenges mainstream stories. I highlight the power of an individual voice to show that the self in becoming is political and that the individual cannot be separated from the social.
Dominant narratives of history and commonly distributed knowledge highlights the history of the victors, the conquerors, but rarely are conquered and marginalized people's history and culture represented. How did this originate? How has this been reproduced? How did it become normalized? Moreover, what disrupted our reality? What changed our way of life and more specifically what disconnected us to our world, our ancestors, our ways of being? How did it change the way we did things and the way we saw the world and our relationship to it? At the same time, how did we survive and how did we challenge what was superimposed to us in order to hold on to our indigenous ways?
I attribute the disruption of the indigenous world to colonialism. The land that sustained us was once vast, open, and giving but was eventually claimed and owned. The land that was once abundant is depleted and utilized by the victors for their personal gain, thereby leaving conquered people poor, barely surviving, nothing to call our own, and devastated. This has left immeasurable damages and long lasting negative consequences physically, but most importantly we are left to carry the burden of colonial trauma and damage to the psyche. The violence of conquest is only at the surface of colonialism.
The investment in the silencing, repression, and normalizing of the oppression has had lasting consequences and continues to be felt today. We are a product of colonialism and its legacy. We live in that reality, which garners our consensus as it normalizes the colonial reality. As colonized peoples, we are no longer the same. We cannot go back to the way things used to be. Instead, we face a harsh reality of dealing with the injury and damage of colonialism.
For us Ilokanos, our traditional Ilokano knowledge, culture, language, and identity (although I recognize and assert that there is no authentic, pure, or essential Ilokano-ness) face serious damages incurred from colonial policies of control. One of the ways this was done was through the establishment of colonial education based on the repression and subordination of traditional and indigenous knowledges along with the perpetuation of lies of saving the Filipinos reinforced the injury of colonialism itself. This injury can be felt in the loss and endangerment of our languages. Colonialism and the nationalization project have already resulted in the death of four languages in the Philippines while many more are endangered. This is because we are taught to privilege and replace our mother tongue for Spanish or English, the language of the colonizer, or Tagalog, the language of the local elites. We also suffer the loss of our culture or we face severe and irreversible damages to our culture. The consequence of this is that we become less and less rooted in our community and become more of what dominant society wants us to be.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Political Science

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