HomeLiceo Journal of Higher Education Researchvol. 5 no. 2 (2008)

Ritual Dances of the T’Boli

Veberlino T. Yamut

Discipline: Cultural and Ethnic Studies



The study investigated the dances and rituals of the T’boli’s of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. The respondents were the T’boli tribal dancers. The study used the qualitative research design involving ethnographic technique. The study found that the dances show the T’boli’s affinity with nature. The unique dance movement is characterized by: heads bowed low; arms extended sideward and forward or obliquely sideward; and knees and trunks slightly bent. There is frequent use of the upper torso, subtle facial expression, and arms that flow from pose to pose–the fingers held close and still, curling in and out and the elbows are flexed. Generally, the T’boli rhythmic movement often builds up to trance to ensure that omen from the spirits is interpreted properly. The T’boli ritual dance is used to appease the gods; solicit good harvest; seek deliverance from pestilence; mark birth, weddings and death; prepare for war; celebrate victories; affirm social unity and identity.