The Performance of Indigeneity in the Igorot Diaspora in the United Kingdom

Tindaan, Ruth Molitas. 2019. The Performance of Indigeneity in the Igorot Diaspora in the United Kingdom. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines the contemporary construction of identity in the context of the
diaspora of indigenous Igorot migrants from the Cordillera Region of Northern Philippines. It
focuses on the activities of Igorot Organisation-UK, a regional association of migrant Igorots
in the UK. It proposes a new understanding of the process of reconstitution of identity and
community that takes account of the historical location and specificity of these migrants. It
looks at the activities of the organisation as strategic performances through which the
members consolidate a community in the UK as they manage the challenges and utilise the
opportunities of their displacement. This approach which involves the detailed analysis of
lived experiences of indigenous peoples in a diasporic context, emphasises difference,
mobility and social complexity over that of fixity and primordialism. It therefore highlights
the difference that indigenous people make to diasporic formation.

In examining the cultural celebrations, social events, publications and social media
activities undertaken by the community, this thesis develops the concept of “reconstructive
indigeneity” which it proposes to describe the restorative art and value of indigenous identity
performance in diaspora. It argues that members of Igorot-UK deploy indigeneity as a
resource that enables them to overcome anxieties brought by the consequences of historical
dislocation in the Philippines and by international migration. The creative presentations of
self, resourceful mobilisations of community and continuing homeland engagements made by
Igorots in the UK provide for them a sense of purpose and a new sense of self. The study
illustrates the extent to which the set of discursive frameworks on indigenous peoples need to
be reconsidered in light of their contemporary participation in global flows of labour and
transnational activities especially their full engagement in the advances of new
communication technologies to reshape their identity.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Indigenous People, Indigeneity, Igorot diaspora, Igorot migration, Igorot identity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


30 September 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

22 Nov 2019 15:53

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:15


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