The Kabpagasal : A Maguindanaon Folk Ritual and Its Relation to Islam

Kamid, Magaloyan S. (1982) The Kabpagasal : A Maguindanaon Folk Ritual and Its Relation to Islam. Masters thesis, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

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There are two related issues to which this study addresses itself: (1) the relation of a folk religion to a great religion, specifically, Islam; and (2) the persistence of a folk religion alongside the accepted great religion that prohibits practice of the former. In particular, this study focuses on the Maguindanaon kabpagasal. Regarding the first issue, Majul claims that pre-Islamic beliefs and practices persist because they are mistaken by the Muslim Filipinos as part of Islam. This study, as far as the kabpagasal is concerned, argues otherwise. The Maguindanaon adherents of the kabpagasal make a clearcut and unambiguous distinction between Islam and the beliefs and practices related to the kabpagasal. The kabpagasal has its own concern, supernaturals, and religious functionaries different from Islam. Moreover, the people consider the two distinct and separate systems as incongruous. To maintain the indigenous practices and beliefs, efforts are made to adjust them to Islam, and not the latter to the former. Finally, this study argues that the kabpagasal is not a case wherein pre-Islamic beliefs and practices syncretize with Islam to form a distinct system called folk Islam as claimed by Gowing. The few Islamic elements apparently introduced in the kabpagasal do not make it Islamic. To the Muslims, particularly the Maguindanaons, Islam is Islam. Any result of the combination of Islamic elements and non-Islamic elements are not considered Islamic. It would be inappropriate for a social anthropologist to label a thing a such when the people themselves do not consider it as such. Regarding the second issue, this report argues that a folk religion that is incongruous with the great religion persists because some of its elements have been altered and rendered less “offensive” relative to the great religion. Moreover, the people perceive that it still fulfills function in their lives. The kabpagasal is perceived to satisfy the desire of its adherents for well-being in their earthly life.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural performance, cultural performance criticism, cultural performance history, rites and rituals, Maguindanao, folk culture, Islam, Kabpagasal
Depositing User: Machine Whisperer
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2017 14:25
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2017 13:57

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