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Wedding Dance

By: Amador Daguio

• "The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio is a short story
about a husband and wife, Awiyao and Lumnay, who had
been married for seven years. In spite of being in love with
his wife, Awiyao feels the need to marry again in order to
have a son. At his second marriage celebration, Awiyao goes
to check on Lumnay, knowing she is upset. Awiyao thought
the answer to Lumnay's sorrow would be to have her join
the other women during the wedding dance. Lumnay was in
fact at his wedding, but left. She could not stand the idea of
her husband marrying another woman because she could
not give him children.
Wedding Dance
Wedding Dance Story Background
• Awiyao and Lumnay most likely to belong to the
Igorot people who inhabit the mountain areas of
Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The
Philippine islands were settled by various
migrants from Southeast Asia for centuries.
These peoples built up a number of different
cultures and clan-based social structures on the
many islands of the archipelago.
• In the 1500s, Spain colonized the islands,
spreading Christianity and the Spanish language.
Following Spain’s loss in the Spanish American
war of 1898, the Philippines became a territory
of the United States. During World War II, the
islands were occupied by the Japanese until
gaining their independence in 1945.
• The Igorot people maintained many of their
traditional cultural practices through the late
19th century. Even today, dance and gangsa
music form an important part of their
celebrations. View the videos below to get a
sense of the gangsa sound and the Kalinga
wedding dance featured in “The Wedding
Dance” by Amador Daguio.
About the Author
• Amador Daguio was born in the
Ilocos province of the Philippines
in 1912. He began writing poetry
in high school and published his
first poem before he graduated.
Throughout his career, he taught
at a number of schools in the
Philippines and also worked as a
lawyer, editor, reporter, and
public relations officer for the
Filipino government.
• In his writing, Daguio seeks to
establish a pure Filipino voice,
distinct from its colonizers. Even in
English, Daguio’s writing is Filipino
in essence. In “The Wedding
Dance”, he draws upon the culture
of his ancestors to explore Filipino
traditions along with the universal
themes of love, suffering, and
societal expectations.
Wedding Dance
• Mountain somewhere in
• House of Lumnay's and her Ex
husband Awiyao
Mood or
• Sad, there is regret
and intense
Point of View
• The Point of View used in this short story is the
Omniscient Limited - The author used the third
person (he is using pronouns such as they, she,
he, it, etc) to tell us the story. We can only see or
feel the thoughts and feelings of the characters if
he allows it to reveal on us. We only know what
the character knows and what the author allow
us to know.
Wedding Dance
• The setting is a mountain village in
the Philippines, where Awiyao has
just been remarried.
• Awiyao has left his wife Lumnay
because she couldn’t give him a
child. He has now married
Madulimay in hopes to have a son
and Lumnay is upset because she
loves Awiyao and doesn’t want
this separation. ​
• Outside, the villagers are dancing
in celebration of the wedding.
Awiyao leaves to try and comfort
Lumnay. He offers her many items
of the life that they built together.
Lumnay refuses them and
repeatedly attempts to
sway A​ wiyao to stay.
• Awiyao finally leaves to re-join the
wedding and Lumnay runs into the
hills. ​
• Lumnay sits on the side of the
mountain overlooking the blazing
fire and dancing women, thinking
about how her life has changed.
She has a sense of desperation,
isolation, and worthlessness.
• The reader is left not knowing
what will become of Lumnay.
Wedding Dance
The lead male in the
story who loves Lumnay,
but left her because she
didn’t produce children
for him.
Awiyao’s former wife
who is still in love with
him, despite the fact he
married another.
Awiyao’s new, younger
wife, with whom he
hopes to have children.
Wedding Dance
• The gangsas are culturally
important. The sound of the
gangsas represents the man in the
wedding ceremony. Like the
gangsas, they are strong and
provide a beat to the dance, or a
"beat to life".
• The beads in the story symbolize
the promise that Awiyao made to
Lumnay. They are also very
precious and are worth 20 fields.
The fact that Awiyao gives them to
Lumnay shows that he cherishes
her, and that he still believes she
has worth.
• A number of times the narrator
draws the reader’s attention to the
rattan floor as Lumnay pulls it
apart. This is symbolic of their
marriage unweaving.
• The nighttime setting symbolically
adds to the darkness and isolation
that Lumnay feels as she runs away
from the village.
• Culturally, the dancing is a
celebration of happiness. It is also
a show of sexuality by the women.
Because Lumnay has not produced
a child, she feels ashamed to
dance and show herself to the
other men, as she believes no one
will look at her.
• The fire or flames signify the
burning intensity of both love and
hate that Lumnay feels in the
• The house’s walls symbolize the
former couple’s “imprisonment.”
Letting Go
• If you truly love a person, you must let them be
• Have you ever heard the saying “if you love someone,
let them go”? The story of Lumnay and Awiyao
wrestles with this difficult issue. Despite how
upsetting it is to Lumnay, she must let Awiyao go, not
only because of their culture, but also because it is
clear that he will not be happy without a child.
Questions for
"The Wedding
Essential Questions
• What are the expectations for men in Awiyao’s culture? What
about for women?
• How does your culture influence your decisions? Does it
affect your plans for your future?
• Is it true that love conquers all? When might this be untrue?
• How important is having children to you? How important is it
in your family? What about in your culture?
• What is your legacy?
• The conflict is Man vs. Society .The lead characters
have to follow their tribe’s custom, and it is resolved
when they had a heart-to heart talk that they should
separate and continue with their separate lives. And if
Awiyao's second marriage will not work he will come
back to Lumnay's arms again. They should follow their
tribe's custom and on the part of Awiyao he shows
that he really wanted to have a child to follow his
name but there is a bit hesitance on Lumnay's part.