Gaway-gaway

Gaway-gaway is a harvest dance that celebrates the bountiful harvest of the gaway--a plant of the taro family that is grown both for the vegetable and its roots. The female dancer hold a nigo (bilao in Tagalog) laden as she dances. The music is a fast 3/8 melody and the steps are simple but beautiful.

This particular dance came from the town of Jaro in Leyte Province, where planting the gaway is the predominant occupation of the barrio folks.

During harvest season, the customary participation of the children in harvesting gaway is seen. Gaway is harvested by pulling the stalk off the ground. Hence, the pulling of the stalks leads to the unavoidable hitting of each other’s elbows, which has been adapted into a peculiar characteristic of the dance called siko-siko.

After a bountiful harvest, young boys and girls celebrate by imitating the harvesting of gaway. In their merry-making, dancers tease each other by finishing the dance with a parayao (showing off).

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