Karao

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The Karaos are the indigenous people occupying the areas of Harao and Ekip of Bokod, Benguet however in recent years, a number migrated to some parts of Nueva Vizcaya inorder to survive. For a long time, they managed themselves to live in rugged terrains, combed by gullys, creeks, and treacherous ravines but in search for land to farm, moved to other Mountain Province areas.

The Karaos were able to retain their distinct dialect, customs, practices, and lifeways in spite of being surrounded by Ibaloi and Kalanguya,other neighboring tribes.

Stories handed down through generations claim that the ancestors originated from what is the Mountain Province of today. Somewhere in the municipality of Natonin, in Mountain Province, is a trace of deserted village showing mute evidence of a long abandoned settlement. To this day, the place bears the name Karao and the Natonin folks wonder where the inhabitants had gone. Oral historians among the Karao elders say that their ancestors moved as a tribe from one place to another, driven by epidemics and tribal wars, then finally settled in Bokod in the latter part of the nineteenth century and named the place Karao.

Like other cultures of Mountain Province, they have a public center where they perform rituals, calling this the Abonan similar to the Ato or Dap-ay of other groups. Other rituals and an ethnic dance, the taychek, are different from those of the Ibaloi.


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