The Vitality of Creative Action

Hipanow/ Walking as a Political Act of the Internally Displaced Lumad Indigenous Peoples of Selected Ethnicities in Mindanao, Southern Philippines

The PhD project examines the concept of “hipanow” or walking, as a  “technique of the body” (Mauss, 1973 and Ingold 2016 )  of the displaced “Lumad” indigenous peoples (ID Lumad IP) to be mobile and to mobilize.  Hipanow is a Manobo  term for their walking mobility that constitutes and circumscribes their politics, lifeworld and relationship with the land. The Lumad is  a collective term for 18 ethnolinguistic groups of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao. They fled their mountainous ancestral domains and went to spaces in urban areas: Davao City, Mindanao and  Metro Manila, capital of the Philippines. They march and  speak out on issues such as their ancestral domains, military and paramilitary attacks, Lumad killings, state-sponsored closure of Lumad altenative schools, and entry into their lands of national and transnational mining and monocrop corporations,

In my Ph.D. project, “ hipanow”  becomes an organizing “practical logic” ( Bourdieu, 1990) and trope to understand how the locomotive locutes the political. I historicize the Lumads’ displacement, struggle, and political movement; narrate the cultural politics of their everyday lived experiences as internally displaced people; and analyse the patterns of their non-violent public mobility and political mobilization. I argue that hipanow  is not only a “weapon of the weak” ( Scott, 1985); it is a form of everyday resistance,  position of strength and endurance , and a form of creative political action

By using the lens of Social Sciences and Humanities, my aim is to contribute to the scholarship in indigenous peoples studies with an interdisciplinary frame and methodology. This project is a product of a multi-sited 20-month ethnography (Oct. 2019- June 2021) at their evacuation camps.

Keywords:  walking, Lumad Indigenous peoples, aesthetics, lived experience, political ontology, environmental humanities, internally displaced, and conflict and violence.