Isinai tribe to reproduce own local dictionary

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BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: To ensure the preservation of the rich cultural and traditional practices of the indigenous peoples in the province, the Isinai tribe is coming up with a dictionary to encourage their youth to use their native tongue in communicating with their fellow members of the tribe.

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Bambang Isinai Association (BIA) president Albert Bangunan said they are reproducing their local dictionary which will be given to the members of the Isinai tribe in Nueva Vizcaya.

“Right now we are sourcing out funds for the reproduction of more than 1,000 copies of our dictionary for the younger generation who could hardly understand and speak the dialect,” he said.

Bangunan explained that “Isinai” is derived from the prefix “i” meaning “native, resident, people of” and “sinai” that means a place believed to have been inhabited by the early people of northern Luzon.

He said “Isinai” also refers to a group of people who in the pre-Spanish period were considered homogenous and who occupied the present-day area of Nueva Vizcaya.

Today, Bangunan said the Isinai tribe inhabits four municipalities of Dupax del Sur, Aritao, Bambang and Aritao in the province, which are bounded by the provinces of Quirino and Aurora at the east, Nueva Ecija at the south, Pangasinan and Benguet at the west, and the Nueva Vizcaya municipalities of Bayombong, Quezon, and Ambaguio at the north.

“Isinai as a language has three variants spoken in the three municipalities in the province. The Isinai dialects spoken in Dupax del Sur and Aritao differ primarily in a few lexical items. The differences of these two dialects with that of the Bambang dialect are phonological and lexical. The Isinai language used in formal writing is based on the Dupax del Sur dialect,” Bangunan said citing a few research materials.

He said that during last week’s meeting among members of the Isinai tribe “we agreed the reproduction of our dictionary as one way in preserving our culture.”

“We are also conducting an Indigenous People’s Summer Workshop [IPSW] among the tribal towns in the province to teach children on their proper use of their dialect, songs and dances,” Bangunan said.

Among the tribes that are accommodated in the IPSW are children of the Isinai, Kalanguya, Ifugao, Bugkalot, Kankanaey, Gaddang, Ibaloi and Iwak, according to BIA.

Now on its second year of implementation, Banguna said the IPSW is funded by the provincial government “to preserve the rich cultural and traditional practices of the indigenous peoples in Nueva Vizcaya.”

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