Trivia Corner

Tausug Wedding Food

Food habits vary from one cultural group to another. These are the products of their environment as well as historical experiences. These food habits become meaningful to them and are carefully held and difficult to change. Because each culture differs from the others, people see and understand things in different ways. Anyone, therefore, who plans to change or modify a food habit must first understand the cultural orientation and perception of the people.

In Tausug culture, several rituals are followed before the wedding day. There are four stages in a Tausug marriage. The Pagpasihil is the process of "probing" whether the boy is acceptable to the family and relatives of the girl. The nest stage is the Pag-pangasawa or asking for the hand in marriage. Having been accepted formally, the next stage is Pag-turul taimah, which means to follow the acceptance. The last stage is the Pag-Tiaun or the formal wedding.

The wedding feast is prepared on the eve of the wedding. The quantity prepared depends upon the number of guests expected. The more affluent parents slaughter two or more cows and cook several sacks of rice for the occasion. The tiula itim (black soup) is a favorite dish and is prepared in large quantities in a cawa (vat) or big pot. Rice is cooked in a big cooking pot or in empty kerosene cans. Native cakes are prepared some days before the wedding day. Food served on this day is similar to the food served during the pag-turul taimah, such as kurma, sati, kari-kari, piassak, tiulah, sambal, and tiulah itum. Prepared viands are placed in a room where some women are signed to facilitate the allocating and serving of food on the trays. The native cakes served with coffee before lunch are bulha (small cakes of different shapes and designs), hantak or kukus (small fried cakes in various shapes) and bang-bang paklud (banana fritters and the like). The feast is served on long tables arranged in the panggong (temporary shed) constructed adjacent to the house for the occasion.

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Abdulla, Dr. Norma Abubakar. The Food and Culture of the Tausug. p.90-91