Seguyun is a musical genre performed by the Tboli of South Cotabato during courtship and marriage.
Music plays an inherent role in marking the courtship between a Tboli man and woman as the seguyun is performed to publicly announce the sewol (courting) to the community. It is performed by men and women playing the hegelung/agelang (two-stringed lute) and s’ludoy (polychordal bamboo zither), respectively. The two players utilize unique variations that aim to produce a coordinated tempo and complementary rhythm instead of playing in unison.
The other aspects of the moninum (marriage negotiation ceremony) is also characterized by competitions that play out the tensions between the family of the bride and the groom.
Men from each family participate in setolu (singing debates) to negotiate wealth exchange. They also hold seket kuda (ritual horse fights) to symbolize the polar opposites between the family of the bride and the groom.
Ultimately, however, the moninum is an instrumental ceremony through which they recognize and affirm the bond between their communities.
Text and poster by the Ethnology Division
National Museum of the Philippines
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