As the story opens the man is telling his beloved wife he is sorry this has to happen, he is sorry he must take another wife as she has proved barren (leaving aside medical fact it might be him). He offers her part of their land but she refuses. He tells her she should go to the wedding dance for his new marriage to show she is accepting of what is happening. She refuses all but some beads he gave her. She is still the most attractive woman in the community, the best homemaker and the best at growing crops. It is really a heartbreaking story as I could sense the man did not want to do this but community pressures and cultural norms were driving him to divorce a woman he truly loved for one he cares little about. The ending is beautifully done and leaves opens what will happen to the wife. She really seems like a "perfect wife" and one cannot help but feel the man is foolish and to make it worse, he knows it.
Works and Career:
He returned to the area where he grew up and worked as a teacher and married a local woman. During WWII he joined the resistance and would eventually publish a well regarded collection of poems about his experiences during the war years. He is primarily known as a poet but also wrote some wonderful short stories. "The Wedding Dance" was first published in 1953 by Stanford University in an annual publication of works by participants in their literary programs. It is a very moving and beautifully written story that lets us see a way of life most know little about and is set in a nearly forgotten culture, that of the tribal people of northern Luzon.
Amador T. Daguio
In 1953 he received a Fulbright grant to study at Stanford University in California where he studied the short story. For Twenty Six years after returning from the USA he taught at the University of the East and the University of the Philippines. He passed away in 1966 and in 1973 he was awarded the National...
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