May 9, 2012

The Igorots Ate The Dog Who Ate My Birth Certificate

An interesting article was published on the New York Times delving into a joke that US president Barack Obama made during the White House Correspondents Association dinner held last April.

“What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious.” Obama said. It's a reference to a passage in his published memoir where he talked about eating dog meat during his stay as a child in Indonesia.

The article then goes into the history of dog-eating in America. Here's an interesting paragraph where Igorots take censter stage:
Yet in the United States, dog-eating has been a longstanding flashpoint for anxieties about race and citizenship. In 1904, a group of scantily clad Philippine Igorots from the Luzon highlands reenacted a daily “Bow Wow Feast” at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. Loosely based on the custom of sumang, in which a dog was sacrificed and eaten after military victory, the dog-eating spectacle was a sensation. Touring Los Angeles in 1906, the Igorots, now suspiciously “fat and glossy,” were blamed for an “epidemic of thefts” of over 200 “high-class dogs,” according to The Los Angeles Times. 

There's a few bits of information there that I didn't know about the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

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