Babaylan Sing Back depicts the embodied voices of Native Philippine ritual specialists popularly known as babaylan. These ritual specialists are widely believed to have perished during colonial times, or to survive on the margins in the present-day. They are either persecuted as witches and purveyors of superstition, or valorized as symbols of gender equality and anticolonial resistance.
Drawing on fieldwork in the Philippines and in the Philippine diaspora, Grace Nono's deep engagement with the song and speech of a number of living ritual specialists demonstrates Native historical agency in the 500th year anniversary of the contact between the people of the Philippine Islands and the European colonizers.
About the Author
Grace Nono is an ethnomusicologist and interdisciplinary scholar. She is also a singer of Philippine oral chants, and the founder of the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, a Philippine non-profit organization dedicated to cultural revitalization.