What is the history of the salakot dance?


The history of the salakot dance lies in the Philippines, where the traditional wide-brimmed hat of the same name is embellished and worn at part of the dance costume. The dance is considered part of the national culture.

The salakot head gear is traditionally made of rattan, representing an "every man" approach to both the hat and the accompanying dance. In everyday life, the hat is worn by farmers and ordinary citizens protecting themselves from the sun and rain. However, in dance celebrations, it is typically heavily adorned with flowers, jewelry, beads or handcrafted artifacts that reflect regional customs, honor specific occasions or enhance seasonal celebrations. The dance is performed by both males and females, or sometimes by females only. Women and girls wear a local Balintawak costume and a pair of wooden slippers known as bakya. The dance's origin in folk music and art makes it a treasured custom in the countryside regions as well as in modern cities. The salakot symbolizes Filipino identity and is often depicted in the costume of the Juan dela Cruz, the national personification of the Philippines. The fictional Juan dela Cruz character is customarily used as a mouthpiece for social and political issues affecting the common man.

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