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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:08 AM   #1
Sinjin P.
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Indigenous Tribes of the Philippines

Discuss, post photos and information on the different ethnic groups of the Philippines

Last edited by Sinjin P.; October 14th, 2006 at 02:55 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:09 AM   #2
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Aeta
Luzon


Pronounced as “ita,” this tribe is one of the most widespread ethnic group in the Philippines. They are mountain people who are dark skinned, short, small of frame, kinky haired, snub nosed, and have big black eyes.

Various Aeta groups have been differentiated in curious ways. For example, one group in northern Luzon is known as "Pugut" or "Pugot," a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors, and which is the colloquial term for anyone with dark skin. In Ilocano dialect, the word also means "goblin" or "forest spirit."

An Aeta group may resent a name coined by non-Aeta groups or neighbors, especially when they consider the given names insulting. Because the majority of Filipinos look down on their dark color, some groups resent being called "Aeta."

On the other hand, the term "baluga" is acceptable to some Aeta groups since it means "hybrid," akin to the positive connotation of "mestizo" for lowlanders.

The history of the Aeta continues to confound anthropologists and archaeologists. One theory suggests that the Aeta are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines who arrived through land bridges that linked the country with the Asian mainland about 30,000 years ago. These migrations may have occurred when the Malay peninsula was still connected with Sumatra and other Sunda Islands. At that time, the islands of the Philippines may have been connected and may be the reason behind the Aetas’ wide population distribution.

The Aetas have shown resistance to change. The attempts of the Spaniards to settle them in reservations all throughout Spanish rule failed.

While resisting change from the other society for hundreds of years, the Aetas have adjusted to social, economic, cultural, and political pressures with remarkable resilience; they have created systems and structures within their culture to cushion the sudden impact of change.

Since the latter half of the 20th century, however, the Aetas have been declining in number. Their very existence has been threatened by problems brought about by other people and by nature. Poverty-stricken lowlanders, seeking food, have encroached on forest lands, displacing the Aeta. The flora and fauna needed for Aeta survival are no longer available due to forest depletion. Disasters like the Pinatubo eruption destroyed and buried most of the Aeta ancestral lands.

There are different views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. Those who believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being who rule over lesser spirits or deities. The Mamanua believe in the supreme “Magbabaya” while the Pinatubo Aeta worship “Apo Namalyari.”

The Aetas are also animists. For example, the Pinatubo Aeta believe in environmental spirits such as anito and kamana. They believe that good and evil spirits inhabit the environment, such as the spirits of the river, sea, sky, mountain, hill, valley, and other places. The Ati of Negros island call their environmental spirits taglugar or tagapuyo, which literally means "inhabiting a place." They also believe in spirits of disease and comfort.

No special occasion is needed for the Aeta to pray, although there is a clear link between prayer and economic activities. The Aeta dance before and after a pig hunt. The night before Aeta women gather shellfish, they perform a dance which is half an apology to the fish and half a charm to ensure the catch. Similarly, the men hold a bee dance before and after the expeditions for honey.

The Aetas are also skillful in weaving and plaiting. For example, the Mamanuas produce excellent winnowing baskets, rattan hammocks, and other household containers.

Women exclusively weave winnows and mats. Only men make armlets. They also produce raincoats made of palm leaves whose bases surround the neck of the wearer, and whose topmost part spreads like a fan all around the body.

Their traditional clothing is very simple. The young women wear wraparound skirts. Elder women wear bark cloth, while elder men loincloths. The old women of the Agta wear a bark cloth strip which passes between the legs, and is attached to a string around the waist. Today most Aeta who have been in contact with lowlanders have adopted the T-shirts, pants and rubber sandals commonly used by the latter.

A traditional form of visual art is body scarification. The Aetas intentionally wound the skins on their back, arms, breast, legs, hands, calves and abdomen, and then they irritate the wounds with fire, lime and other means to form scars.

Other "decorative disfigurements" include the chipping of the teeth. With the use of a file, the Dumagat – another sub-tribe who belong to the Aeta family - mutilate their teeth during late puberty. The teeth are dyed black a few years afterwards.

The Aetas generally use ornaments typical of people living in subsistence economies. Flowers and leaves are used as earplugs for certain occasions. Girdles, necklaces, and neckbands of braided rattan incorporated with wild pig bristles are frequently worn.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #3
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Agta
Luzon


Agta is the generic term used in Bikol to refer to its 40,000 natives with dark-colored skins, short stature and kinky hair.

Though some Agtas now live in permanent settlements, there are still some in Camarines Norte who are semi-nomadic and who build temporary elevated shelters called “Butukan.” The Butukan is made from tree branches and leaves. An area is believed to be ideal for building a butukan if six tagbac tubers planted there will grow or where decayed organic matter is present or where the desired spot for the Butukan can be reached by reflected light from a river. The light is believed to prevent evil spirits from having access to the shelter and bringing death to its occupants.

The traditional attire of the Agta is the tapis/skirt for females and bahag/breech cloth for males. Their clothing is made from the bark of the Gumihan tree. A number of them now wears casual and modern urban attires, although they still adorn their heads, however, with a multi-purpose container called “Takupis” made from the Kalagimay plant where they keep their lime from burnt seashells, nganga/betel nut and pepper leaves called “ikmo” or “lukmoy.”

To take the place of body ornaments, the natives scar/“asde” their bodies with designs bequeathed to them by their ancestors. Asde is supposed to rid the body of “dirty blood” and protect it from different illnesses. To carry her baby, a breastfeeding native wears the “uban,” a piece of cloth slung from the shoulders.

The Agtas grow root crops, rice and vegetables in their farms. Rice takes time to harvest, so they substitute it with a boiled root crop called “dugma,” which gives them a shorter harvest time.

Hunting is another means of subsistence for the Agtas. They catch running game by spearing them with pointed sticks called “galud” or by means of pit-traps. Birds are caught by using slingshots locally known as “labtik” and traps made from a glue-like sap called “dikit.”

To achieve a successful hunt for animals, the Agtas perform a ritual at the grave of a skilful hunter. The process includes scattering of banana stalks – used as substitute for meat - around the grave as offering. They also erect arched bamboos to symbolize traps for a big game.

Fishing and catching crabs are other means of livelihood for the Agtas. Their instruments include the: “baslay,” a bow and arrow used for fishing; “banwit,” a set of fishing instrument that includes the “boro,” a slender bamboo with a few meters of nylon at one end that has a hook where bait is placed; “sulo,” a small torch used to attract the fishes and crabs during night-time fishing; “agahid,” a net used for catching fishes and crabs; “kawit,” a hooked wire used to dislodge crabs from their hiding places; “sagad,” a rattan basket where the catch is placed; “bobo,” a trap made from split bamboo fastened together with rattan; and “alawa,” a fishnet for shallow waters during low tide. Mollusks are also caught to augment the Agtas' diet. Some of these are the bivalves, finger-like mollusks called “sihi,” and the slender-bodied mollusks called “bagisara.”

Many Agtas have also engaged into other income generating jobs, such as copra making, charcoal making, and gold panning.

In their hierarchy, the father and the elder sons usually hunt. The mothers and daughters are left behind to do the household chores. The mother is always the one who takes care of the children.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #4
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Apayao
Luzon


They are considered as one of the most lighthearted among the indigenous tribes in the Philippines. The Apayaos are a river people. Their tribe’s name was derived from the warm waters of the Apayao River. They live in the Northwestern end of the island of Luzon from Abulog up to the Apayao River. Their mountainous territory is rich in flora and fauna – typical of the rainforests in Asia.

These virile people are said to have come to this region in two waves, a few thousand years ago; the Indonesians by way of Southeastern Asia, and the Mongolians by way of Central Asia. These two waves found a home in the northern end of the Cordillera Central Mountains. Their cultures fused into a new one. Physically, the Indonesian strain dominated, males stand an average height of five feet and four inches, while the average height for females is five feet.

The Apayaos are kind, hospitable and generous. They are highly aesthetic in temperament, self-reliant, and honest. If by some ill fate you drop something, even money, a member of the tribe will return it to you. They believe that if a man steals, his wife will leave him; or, if they acquire money unfairly and buy rice with it, the rice will not give them strength.

They like a practical jokes. In fact, even accidents are taken as a laughing matter and the one who has been injured is the one who laughs the hardest!

The Apayaos are courageous and freedom loving. The Spaniards never conquered them, even the Americans had a difficult time establishing their government.

The Common Law enjoins that man must not steal, tell false stories about others, court the wife of others, nor make trouble at a feast. It further enjoins that man must respect the rights of individuals, give food to visitors, and parents shall teach the children the old legends and customs, as well as correct them that they could grow up properly. The Apayaos have a very complete system of social etiquette.

They have no words meaning "thank you" in their dialect. When one goes on journey, there is no word meaning "goodbye". One just walks away. When he returns, even after a long absence, there are no words of greeting, of welcome. The Apayaos are very modest about their persons. A woman must not allow her legs to spread when squatting to a sitting position, nor allow her tapis to go above her knees. Even when there are no women around, while the men are bathing and swimming together, they keep their private parts covered with one hand while they are out of the water.

They have a very simple government. In each family the man rules supreme and orders his woman what to do. A group of 15 to 30 families is headed by one leader. They build their houses close to each other.

Community spirit in a barangay is strong. They have common interests and often work together in exchange of labor. When one builds a home, all the neighbors come to help.

Each barangay is surrounded by a bamboo picket fence. The bamboos are filled with little stones so that they cannot be easily cut. A peace pact called “budong” is often made with other tribes. Peace pact holders are appointed and held personally responsible to make sure that it is not broken. Each barangay is held accountable for the acts of any of its members.

During the first part of the Japanese occupation, Apayao was a place of refuge for fleeing Americans, and after the fall of Corregidor, Cabugao was made the headquarters of the USAFFE of Northern Luzon. The Japanese were not able to establish themselves in these mountains until March, 1943, but the tribesmen hardly cooperated, so they left on August, 1944. When the Americans returned, almost every Apayao volunteered to help in defeating the Japanese.

The Apayaos depend a lot on the rivers and streams, even if they live on sides of a mountain for safety. Many of their communities are named after the names of the streams nearest to them. The rivers are their source of food and water to drink.

The men are excellent in constructing boats and other wooden crafts.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #5
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Arumamen-Manuvu
Mindanao


The Arumanen-Manuvu had its origin from a village settled place called Banubu near the mouth of Pulangi River.

A god named Apo Tabunawai rules the village. He is acclaimed as the “Timuay” or the convenor of the village elders. According to legends, Timuay Apo Tabunawai was a skillful forest food gatherer such of wild ubi, sago palm, various roots crops nuts and fruits.

Issues are tackled by the Council of Elders are the review and reconstitution of community policies for the coming seasons. To bring omens of good tidings, abundance and societal well-being, marriages of young people are arranged and undertaken on the post-festival evenings.

By foot and with the use of basket types of traps, the hunters bring home large fowls, fish, lizards, pythons and lesser wild games.

The villagers acknowledge that the abundance brought home from a hunt comes from the favor of Elemental Beings whose compassion is anchored upon Apo Tabunawai.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:23 AM   #6
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Badjao
Mindanao


The exact or scientific origin of the Badjaos are uncertain. According to a legend, they came from the shores of Johore, Indonesia, where they had already been living in clusters of houseboats.

There are other theories that claim the Badjaos were originally from the land-based Samal group but branched off into boat dwellers as a result of their occupation. Another theory claims the Badjaos were originally boat dwellers that eventually built stilt houses near fertile fishing grounds.

The Spanish and American colonizers failed to influence the Badjaos because they live in the territory of the Muslim Filipinos, although they are also the least influenced by Islam.

The Badjaos are itinerant travelers.

Their paintings and carvings are integral to their life cycle. In wedding ceremonies, the wedding beautician must be adept at applying the special makeup on the bride and groom. With a razor blade tied with thread to a split bamboo twig, the beautician shapes the bride’s eyebrows into a triangle and carves tiny bangs on her forehead. Lampblack is used to outline a rectangle on her forehead and is emphasized by a yellow ginger juice. Black dots are outlined horizontally above the eyebrows and/or beneath the eyes with the pointed end of a coconut midrib. Another beautician attends to the groom and his face is made up the same way.

The traditional attire of a Badjao is the “patadjong.” It has many uses. They are made large enough to fit any person and is worn by both men and women as a skirt or gown tucked at the chest level. It can serve as head cover, waistband, sash, blanket, hammock, shoulder bag, cradle, pouch, hood, or pillow.

The women’s “sablay” is a loosed sleeved blouse reaching down to the hips. A “simpay” (band) forms the front opening and extends to the back from a small collar. A woman’s typical accessories are jewelry and colored combs. The bracelet is the most popular ornament. Other pieces of jewelry are the pendant, earring, ring, necklace, and anklet.

Metal craft designs can be classified into three kinds: the repousse, relief hammered from the reverse side; arabesque, incision of interlocking curves; and filigree, tracing with thin gild, silver, or brass wires.

The Badjaos have five types of songs: the leleng, binoa, tenes, panulkin, and lugu. Except for the last two, the lyrics are improvised and sung to a traditional tune. The “leleng” is sung in most occasions. Anyone can sing the leleng.

The “binoa” is similarly chanted as the leleng. The “tenes-tenes” is a ballad whose tune changes with the lyrics. It may be sung for any occasion and by anyone. The melody of a known tenes may be used for a different set of lyrics. Most tenes have a subject of courtship and love. The tenes is also a song addressed to the sharks.

A woman sings the “lugu” at a wedding as the “imam” or “panglima” walks with the groom to the bride’s side. The lugu’s lyrics are verses from the Koran; it has a traditional and melancholy tune. The panulkin is sung only by the imam and has traditional tune and lyrics. It is sung during the vigil of the dead, from 7am to 1am. It is a way of keeping awake and of making the community aware that somebody has died.

The Badjao’s dance traditions are similar with the other ethnic groups of Sulu, particularly the tribes in Samal. The basic traditional dance movement is the igal or pangalay performed by the female. The dancer’s hair is preferably pulled back in a bun, although it may also be allowed to hang loose. Either a drum or a gabbang accompanies the dance.

Except for the “kata-kata” or narrative forms and riddles, Badjao literature is meant to be sung. It attributes its oral forms of literature such as animal tales, trickster tales, magical tales, and novelistic tales from the tribes in Samal.

There are two tales about the origin of the tribe. The first story involves the Princess Ayesha of Johore and the Sultans of Brunei and Sulu. She preferred the Brunei sultan, but was engaged to the Sulu sultan instead. Escorted by a fleet of war boats, she was sailing towards Sulu when a Brunei fleet, led by their Sultan, intercepted them and took the princess away. The princess’ entourage, fearing to go on to Sulu or return to Johore, stayed on the sea, mooring only at uninhabited islands. Some turned to piracy and established pirate dens along North Borneo coasts.

The other Badjao tale says that the ancestors of the Samal ha Laud came from a fishing clan in Johore, Indonesia. A group of boats sailed in search of richer fishing grounds. One night, a typhoon came and they had to anchor by a sandbar. As they were about to rest for the night, their boats suddenly started bucking up and down. They realized they had tied their boats to the nose of a giant manta ray, which had begun to swim round and round in a frantic attempt to unloosen the ropes tied to its nose. The fishers managed to untie their boats, but by then, they had been flung in an island that is unfamiliar to them.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #7
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Bago
Luzon


The Bago is a tribe composed of medium built and sturdy individuals. Their group is a product of intermarriage between the Ilocanos of the lowlands and different indigenous cultural communities of the Cordillera Region. They are settled between the mountain ranges of Ilocos and the borders of the Ilocos Provinces, La Union and Pangasinan.

Being of Iloco-Cordillera descent, they practice simple, ordinary methods of agriculture. Tobacco drying barns, harvests of garlic and onion are integrated in their houses. Their farming methods and practices include a system to initiate farm workers at harvest time through a working relationship known as gamal, ammuy, and bunggoy.

Prominent members of Bago indigenous group are former Governor Lupo Biteng of Ilocos Sur and his son Jonathan Biteng who also rose to become the Municipal Mayor of the same town.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #8
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Bagobo
Mindanao


The Bagobo is a tribe that traces its origin from the people who brought Hinduism to Mindanao during the Sri Vijayan and Majapahit invasion. When the people inter-married with the locals, they formed a new society and came up with the name Bagobo.

The word “Bagobo” is derived from the root word “bago,” which means “new” or “recent” while the “obo” suffix means “grow” in the tribe’s dialect.

The Bagobos have a light brown complexion. Their hair is brown or brownish black, ranging from wavy to curly. The men have an average height of five feet and three inches, while the women’s height average is five feet.

Although their faces are wide, their cheekbones are not too prominent. Their eyes are dark and widely set, while the eye slits are slanting. The males and females deliberately shave their eyebrows to a thin line. The root of their nose is low, while the ridge is broad. Their lips are full and their chins are round.

The Manuvu tribe is different, because they live in the upland areas northwest, north, and northeast of Mt. Apo in interior Mindanao.

In a population survey conducted in 1988, their population was around 80,000.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #9
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Balangao
Luzon

The Balangaos main source of food and income is from farming. They make quality bamboo and rattan crafts. They occasionally hunt wild games in forests.

Oral historians of the tribe claim that in 17th century when the Gaddangs of Cagayan revolted and lost against the Spanish colonizers, the Gaddangs fled to the mountains and established their settlements there.

The tribes intermarried to the original inhabitants of the mountain slopes and riverbanks where the Ifugaos, Kalingas and Bontocs lived. Culture blending for centuries resulted in the present Balangao/Boliwon ethno linguistic group or tribe.

The Balangao dialect has dominant "ch", "r," and "f" sounds.

The tribesmen who migrated to the cities to seek greener pastures, still go back to their tribe to meet their obligations.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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Batak
Luzon


The word "Batak" is said to be an old Cuyunon term that means "mountain people." They have a very small population, and are feared to become extinct after a few years. Their population progressively decreased over the years.In the early 1900s, they numbered around 600, but a head count conducted in 1970 showed that there were only 393 tribesmen left.

The Batak live mainly in small settlements near Puerto Princesa, close to the coastal villages of Babuyan, Tinitian, and Malcampo. Some of them have lived in several river valleys of Babuyan, Maoyon, Tanabag, Tarabanan, Laingogan, Tagnipa, Caramay and Buayan.

Because of their physical characteristics, the Batak have been classified under the Aeta group, or as having Aeta affinities. An early account described the Batak as resembling somewhat the Aeta in other parts of the Philippines. Scientists believe they have more physical resemblances with the Semang and Sakai of the Malay peninsula, because of their long and kinky hair, hirsute faces and bodies, small stature and muscular built.

The exact origin of the Batak had not been determined. Based on their Aeta characteristics, scientists assumed they comprise the remnants of a formerly numerous group of Aetas who settled in Palawan more than 10, 000 years ago.

The Bataks are a nomadic group that roam on vast areas in the north, settling in a place where there’s enough supply of food, then will move on to other places to continue hunting and gathering.

Despite constant interaction with other Palawan groups and settlers from other islands, their culture has not changed from its seminomadic character.

Their tribe has been severely affected by a number of communicable diseases and malnutrition due to poverty. The arrival of urban settlers from Luzon and Visayas made the Batak’s natural habitat smaller. Their problems were aggravated when the forests of Palawan’s mountainous regions were opened to logging investors.

As pointed out in the a recent study of Batak society, they, like all the other Philippine Aeta groups have been critically influenced and affected by contact with the outside world. The effect has been noted in their subsistence economy, socio-territorial organization, and ritual life. As a consequence, the tribe failed to reproduce successfully. Their tribal distinctiveness is slowly crumbling, because of urban influences. The Batak tribe, together with their unique traditional culture is on the brink of extinction.

Their traditional costume is simple. It consists mainly of bark cloth that they derive from a mulberry tree.

One of the Batak folklores claim that woman did not come from man but man come from woman. The story is about an old man with two sons. He sent them out to the fields to watch over his trees, warning them not to eat the fruits of those trees. But the younger son disobeyed. He ate some of the fruits, and after a while, his breasts became bigger. The older son became curious, and ironically, fell in love with his younger brother. Rhe wedding marked the beginning of the Batak society.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #11
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Bontoc
Luzon


"Bontoc" is derived from the term "bun," which is the equivalent of heap in English and "tuk," which means top. When combined, the two words mean “mountain,” or “Bontoc,” when translated on the tribe’s dialect.

They are the people who live in the mountainous areas of Benguet, Ifugao, Mounatin Province and Kalinga-Apayao.

Their population is distributed in 10 municipalities and 137 barrios.

Although there is a common language called Bontoc, each village may have its own dialect and phonetic peculiarities. Population estimate in 1988 was 148,000. Physical types are a mix of Filipino, ancient Ainu and Mongol.

The tribesmen’s God is Lumawig. Religious practices, rituals and cañoas attend to their cycle of life, death, and agricultural activities. There are many kinds of cañoa. The chao-es is the feast for the manerwap, which is the ritual requesting for rain from Lumawig. A cho-es is also held when a person's name needs to be changed because of an incurable ailment that is believed to be caused by an ancestral spirit. The “fosog” is the feast for fertility rites.

The tribe’s traditional clothing leaves males and females bare above the waist. But because of modern influence, younger members of the tribe wear trousers, shirts, dresses and shoes that lowland Filipinos usually wear.

The tattoo used to be a prestige symbol, worn only by the headhunter. However, it is now purely ornamental. There are three types of tattoos: the “chaklag,” the breast tattoo of the headhunter; the “pongo,” the arm tattoo of both sexes or the woman's tattoo; and the “fatek” which is used as thegeneric term and refers to all other tattoos.

The tattoo used to be a prestige symbol, worn only by the headhunter. However, it is now purely ornamental.

The woman's tattoo is on the back of the hands and encircles the arms beginning from the wrists to above the elbows. On the upper arm, the figure of a man with extended arms and legs may be etched. The man's tattoo has a simpler pattern and uses longer lines; the woman's tattoo uses cross-hatched lines and patchwork designs. Disfigurement such as swellings, are used deliberately as part of the tattoo designs.

Bontoc literature is transferred through word of mouth only. It is either sung or recited. Its primary purpose is to communicate ideas and attitudes to others at certain social occasions. It also reflects the tribe’s collective history. Their literature includes riddles, proverbs, aphorism, songs, tales, legends, and myths.

Ritual literature is addressed to the deities or “anito” during ceremonies. Examples of ritual literature are the “ayyeng,” “annako,” “kapya,” “manayeng/manaing,” “orakyo,” and “achog.”

The most important of the tribe’s mythology is the “oggood.” The narrative concerning Lumawig, the Bontoc god and culture hero. He chose to marry the beautiful and industrious lady Fukan after rejecting one lady whose hair was too short, another lady who lived in a village that was too short, and another who “tittered like a bird.” Many stories about Lumawig pertain to the beginning of the Bontoc society. He rewarded good and punished evil. He wanted peace and prosperity. He established the institution of the ato. He established the rituals. He performed wonders to teach ethical norms. He changed his own selfish father-in-law into a rock with water gushing forth from its anus.

On Mt Kal-lat is a huge stone said to have been set down by Lumawig. When bad weather threatens the people, the men gather around the stone and perform a ritual called “kapya.”

The myths are also an integral part of the ritual. In the traditional wedding ceremony, the narrative of Lumawig's wedding is recited. Part of the planting rites to have an abundant harvest is the recitation of the myth about how the gods multiplied and increased the size of the crops.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #12
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Bugkalots
Luzon


The Bugkalots are found in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora. They inhabit the easterly central part of the Caraballo and Sierra Madre Mountain ranges. There are about 5,000 Bugkalot families. Although they live far apart from each other, their glaring similarities, customs and arts show that they belong to one distinct group.

The Bugkalots are known for their colorful attire, musical instruments and beautiful artifacts.

The Bugkalots manage to survive on the “kaingin” or slash and burn system of agriculture. Root crops are their main product. They also hunt wild game in the forest and Conwap rivers head stream of the Cagayan river.

The Bugkalots have a regular built and inherited some Mongolian features such as narrow slanting eyes and aquiline nose. The Bugkalots found along the rivers of Bua and Tubo speak the Ilocano dialect.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:36 AM   #13
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Mangyan
Luzon


Mangyan is the general name for the indigenous tribes who live in the province of Mindoro. Ten percent of the total population of the people who live in Mindoro are Mangyans.

Before Spain conquered the Philippines, the Mangyans were already practicing the "barter trade" to the Chinese, who traveled to the shores of Mindoro using their ancient boats. The Mangyans traded their local products of cotton, root crops, medicinal plants and bees-wax for beads, gongs, plates and jars.

Anthropological studies revealed that the Mangyans have eight tribes that may look the same but have different cultures and traditions.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #14
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Tasaday
Mindanao


One of the smallest tribes in the Philippines, there were only 61 individuals in a census conducted in 1987. They were originally called “Linat Batang."

Up to this day, they continue to hunt and gather food, dwell in caves, use stone tools and wear garments of “curcoligo” - a kind of fern plant - along side practices acquired through long contact and exchange with neighboring people. They are socially and geographically distant, though not completely isolated. Linguistic studies show Tasadays belong under the ethno linguistic category.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #15
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Tiboli
Mindanao


The Tibolis live in "long-houses" that are built on six-foot stilts. Their houses are about 50 feet long and nearly 30 feet wide. The materials are predominantly made of bamboo, wood, and palm fronds. Their houses are situated far apart from each other.

The distinctive and colorful clothing characterizes Tiboli men and women. It is a major source of ethnic pride. Nearly all clothing is made of t'nalak, a cloth that has a brown background, lightened by red and beige designs. Women wear ornamental combs, earrings, bracelets, and rings. The Tibolis usually cover their heads with turbans or large circular hats.

They speak a Malayo-Polynesian language called Tiboli. In addition to their native language, many of the Tibolis also speak Ilonggo or Bilaan.

The families usually arrange marriages after lengthy negotiations. Wedding celebrations often require months of preparation. Monogamy is always practiced. However, the rich may sometimes have multiple wives as a symbol of prestige.

The Tibolis believe that aspects of nature have spirits. If the spirits are not appeased, they can cause harm to people.

Although the Tiboli believe in a number of gods, the two most important are Kadaw la Sambad and Bulon la Mogow. They supposedly gave birth to the lesser gods, who either bestow benefits on people or afflict them with bad luck or ailments. The Tibolis place large wooden statues of the gods in their homes and fields. They frequently offer food and liquor to the gods for appeasement.

Television and radio are not yet available in the tribe.

They practice the slash and burn method of agriculture. This involves cutting the forest growth, burning the debris, and planting in the clearing. Rice is their primary crop, though yams and cassava are also grown. Their other sources food are through hunting, gathering forest crops, and fishing. To supplement their incomes, they sell bananas and other forest products in nearby markets.

Food is also provided through hunting, gathering forest produce, and fishing. To supplement their incomes, a Tiboli sometimes sell bananas and other forest produce in nearby markets.

Many Tibolis have little or no access to medical care. Education is inadequate, and at least 80% of the adults are illiterate. Running water and modern sanitation systems are virtually non-existent. Electrical power can only be found in a few villages.

Their methods of transportation and communication are extremely primitive. The arrival of logging and mining operations in Tiboli territory became a threat to their culture and way of life.

A typical Tiboli family of 8 – 10 members are usually malnourished. They only eat two meals a day of staple root crop like camote and taro. The average annual income of a breadwinner is only P6, 000.

Some of them even suffer from major diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, intestinal parasites, amoebic dysentry and upper respiratory tract infections. Some of their illnesses are believed to be the consequence of lack of access to safe potable water.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhaelnis View Post


Bontoc
Luzon



The tribesmen’s God is Lumawig.
Actually, the elders are trying to correct this one. Kabunian is the supreme deity(of the Ifontoc/Kankanai/Ibaloi), Lumawig is his son.

Quote:
Religious practices, rituals and cañoas attend to their cycle of life, death, and agricultural activities

Tapos cañao siya. Mauuna yung a sa o
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Old January 25th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #17
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by Joel Velasquez[/B]


"Mandaya" derives from "man" meaning "first," and "daya" meaning "upstream" or "upper portion of a river," and therefore means "the first people upstream". It refers to a number of groups found along the mountain ranges of Davao Oriental, as well as to their customs, language, and beliefs. The Mandaya are also found in Compostela and New Bataan in Davao del Norte.
Scholars have identified five principal groups of Mandaya: the Mansaka or those who live in the mountain clearings; the Manwaga or those who lived in the forested mountain areas; the Pagsupan or those who make a living in the swampy banks of the Tagum and Hijo rivers; the Managusan or those who live near the water; and the Divavaogan who are found in the southern and western parts of the Compostela (Bagani 1980:30; Cole 1913:165).
The Mandaya generally have high foreheads, prominent cheekbones, broad noses, thick lips and angular features. They are generally fair (Valderrama 1987:6-7). Population estimate in 1988 was about 22,000 for the Mandaya found in Davao Oriental, and about 33,000 for the whole country (Peralta 1988:8).



Mandaya Warrior









History

Valderrama (1987:5-6) hypothesizes that the Indonesians, who came to the Philippines in a series of immigration waves from 3000 to 500 BC, intermarried with the native women and begot the Manobo of eastern Mindanao. The Malays, who migrated to the Philippines between 300 to 200 BC through Palawan and Mindoro, intermarried with the Manobo and begot the Mandaya. The Chinese came in the 13th century and through intermarriage contributed further the racial development of the Mandaya.

The Spanish conquest brought about Christianity and an inducement for the Mandaya to settle in villages. The Christianized Mandaya who have resettled intermarried with Visayan and other emigrants. Because of frequent Muslim raids, however these Christianized Mandaya were forced to return to the mountains and their old way of life.
Americans brought with them a form of political participation that was inaugurated by the Christian political leaders when Davao was made into a regular province in 1922. American planters in the Davao area did encourage the Mandaya to work in the coastal plantations and adopt the lifestyle of Christianized natives. Many of the Mandaya who did so eventually returned to the mountains armed with new ideas and technology. This led to further changes in the lifestyle of many Mandaya districts (Gagelonia 1967:259-260).

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Religious Beliefs and Practices


Many Mandaya have been Christianized by the Spaniards. The Christianity that they profess, however, is a mix of traditional Catholicism with their own indigenous beliefs and practices. According to the Spanish missionaries, the Mandaya consented to be converted only if their beliefs and customs would not be interfered (Bagani 1980:24). Thus, the Mandaya's attachment to animism was the problem of the missionaries. Their idols called the Manauag are made of wood from the bayog tree; the eyes are taken from the fruit of the magobahay. The idols are painted from chest up with some kind of sap. These wooden figures have no arms; the male manauag is distinguished from the female in that the latter is adorned with a comb. These idols are set in canopied altars in the Mandaya house (Bagani 1980:21).
They are also influenced by the bailana. This is true especially during the months of famine when nightly ceremonies are held. The bailana dances three or four times around the manauag while supper is being prepared. This repeated until supper is served (Bagani 1980:21-22).
The pagcayag is a ritual performed to ward off sickness. A bobo or fish trap together with seven buyo, and a pitcher of tuba in which are placed seven crabs, are covered with leaves. These are left in the middle of the house for three days. On the fourth morning, amid shouts, these items are hacked into pieces and kicked out of the house (Bagani 1980:22).
The Mandaya believe that the limoken is a bird of omen. If it sings to the left of the person, this is a good omen. However, if it sings to the right, the person must prepare for a possible attack from enemies. If it sings right in front, there is danger ahead. If it sings while a person is between trees, an ambush is waiting. If a person encounters a dead animal, death could befall him or her; the person should return at once to where he/she started. Stomping one's right foot on a pile of ashes may neutralize these bad omens. It is believed that a serpent eating the heavens causes eclipse. The Mandaya gods include Mansilatant and Daty, father and son, who are good gods, and Pudaugson and Malimbong, husband and wife, who are evil gods (Bagani 1980:22-23).


Visual Arts and Craft

The clothes of Mandaya are considered by many as among the most beautiful in Mindanao. In general, the Mandaya costume motifs are characterized by block designs, line patterns, rickracks, scrolls, curvilinear motifs, and diamonds and crosses (De Los Reyes 1975:62,65). Another popular motif is the crocodile done at various levels of abstraction (De La Cruz 1982:60).




Present day Mandaya lass with a flower on her hair deftly weaves Dagmay, an abaca cloth with pale decorated stripes. Davao, ca 1990. (Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection).




The dagum nang usog or man' blue collar less shirt has sleeves which may be long or three fourths in length and embroidered with lenama. The front of the dagum is open to the hipline and the edges are trimmed with contrasting colors. Men's trousers are either long or short. The pantot trousers are usually 5-7.5 cm above the knee. The long trousers are loose on the hipline but tight from the thighs to the ankles.
Mandaya women wear cotton blouses called dagum. These are usually red, blue, and black and decorated with animal and geometric designs at the back, front and sleeves. Mandaya women also wear blue gingham blouses. Old women and Christianized bailana wear black blouses. The bado nang bubay (woman's dress) is as ornately designed as the blouses and betrays Chinese influence (Valderrama 1987:7-8).
Traditional skirts are usually made of dagmay, adored in an almost A-style and pleated on one side. The waist is held by small piece of coco negra. Some old women wear the patadyong (tubular shirt) and younger girls, the cooton skirt. Poki or women's underwear is made of coconut shell, which is finely cut to prevent injury. Strings are inserted through the corner holes and tied to the waistband (Valderrama 1987:8).
Mention must be made of the Mandaya hat made of guinit.the designs are turned into the concave shape hat. In some cases, colored feathers are found at the back of the hat. When worn, thongs are attached to keep the hat in place.
The Mandaya metal craft includes the fashioning of weaponry. Among these are the balladaw (steel dagger), kakala (bolo), likod-likod (single bladed kakana) and wasay (ax for cutting wood or for self-defense).
Mandaya jewelry may be made at home when materials are available. Jewelry measures the social and economic status of the Mandaya women, no young Mandaya woman, whether single or married, goes out without donning a piece of jewelry (Valderrama 1987:8). Silver is used often for jewelry and brass casting is copied from the Muslims.
Metal jewelry includes the sampad or earrings with a silver covering and carved round with a intricate design in the center; the balyug which a type of necklace which covers the breast, and made of tiny glass beads sewn in several rounds with silver coins or crocodile teeth serving as ornaments; the patina which is an heirloom made of round gold attached to the necklace; the sangisag or metal bracelet worn by both men and women; and the tungkaling or brass trinklets worn by women on the waistband to notify people of their presence (Valderrama 1987:8-12).
Example of nonmetal jewelry include the suwat or wooden combs; the balikog or earrings made of balatinaw wood; laog or earrings made out of glass beads; pamullang or ivory and black colored necklaces; the linangaw or male necklaces representing his battle with the crocodile; and the timusug or bracelet made of rare vines and rubber (De Los Reyes 1975:66).
The Mandaya are known to carve wooden idols. An example is the Manauag, a 12.5 cm idol made of palm wood. The asho-asho is a larger Mandaya idol that represents a **** or bird, and is kept in the house together with crocodile's teeth, roots and other charms and offerings.
A practice among the Mandaya is the filing and blackening the teeth of the young. Between the ages of 10 and 12, Mandaya children pass through an initiation in which their upper and lower sets of teeth are filed evenly. Instead of brushing their teeth, the Mandaya habitually chew tobacco pellets moistened with juice of am-mong vine. This practice has strengthened their teeth (Valderrama 1987:12).


Performing Arts

Some example of Mandaya musical instruments are the kobeng or slender piece of bamboo resembling a Jew's harp, and played while dancing the gandang; the kudlong or a two stringed instrument similar to the kudyapi of the Maranao; the gimbal or native drum made of tree trunk or deer skin, and played to accompany a dancing bailana; the nakuyag or instrument resembling a Spanish tambourine, played to accompany the gimbal; the bonabon or instrument resembling a flute (Valderrama 1987:51-53).
Like the riddles and proverbs, Mandaya folk' songs reflect the people's collective attitude towards life and the world. Two types of folk songs have remained within the native repertoire - the oyog-oyog (lullaby) and the bayok (love and adventure songs). The former deals with childhood and parental love; the lyrics and poetic and often center on maternal love and aspirations. The music is soothing (Fuentes and De la Cruz 1980:25).

Oyog-oyog, mag oyog-oyog . . .
Masinga nang Bullawan
Diyanay yagadadallawon
Baan sumngaw makawong
Dumallaw makagwa
Walla kaw sa pangubsa
Walla kaw sa pangkawasa,
Nang mallugon diabongan mo
Magaon na siollambodan mo;
Malaygon sa gigiba
Pugtok sa llollumpasi.

Walla sa pangungubsa
Wa sa pangawasa;

Awson pagpaka-indo
Ubson magpakagawa.

La - la - la- la - larin - larin . . .

Among the protodramas found among the Mandaya are the ritual balilig and the one called "the making of a Mandaya Datu". The former is one of the highest forms of Mandaya worship performed by a bailana to cure illness believed to be caused by the busaw or blood thirsty spirits. It is believed that the busaw has taken the sick person's soul and has hidden it inside the sun. The balilig is performed to appease the busaw. In the course of ceremony, the bailana stares at the sun waiting for it to open and release the sick person's soul. The performance of the balilig is announced to the temporal and spiritual worlds the night before. At about eight in the evening, a deer hide drum is played. At sunrise, an altar is erected on which a pig is laid facing the rising sun. a branch of sallapaw tree, decorated with mama-on (betel nut) flowers, is placed beside the altar bending to the east of the pig (Nabayra 1979:45).
When people gather, the drummer starts with the basal beat and the women begin to dance. The beating gets faster and the dancing get more hypnotic. The bailana present each calls upon her favorite kallbas or mugbong to suck the blood of the sacrificial pig (Nabayra 1979:45-46). The ancient chant goes thus:
O Mugbong, pangayon ka
Kallbas, kagomon kaw;
Sang amabalik na balyan
Amawaon na danginan.

The climax of the ceremony involves the stabbing of the sacrificial pig at the right armpit. All the bailana present, even those who did not dance, take turns in sucking the blood and partaking of the raw flesh of the pig. It is believed that the bailana are only acting as the medium of the blood - thirsty busaw. After this, the chief bailana dips a brunch of the bagaybay or flower of the betel nut in the blood of the pig and anoints the right palm of the sick person with the line from the middle of the palm towards the middle finger.
Another ceremonial rite is the one called "the making of a Mandaya Datu". Before a candidate is proclaimed a datu, he dances about brandishing his kampilan (large sword). The climax is reached when the priest, carrying a sprig of betel nut flower, dances in front of a candidate and sprinkles water on his forehead.
Orosa-Goquingco (1980:139) mentions the "Courting Dance" which is described as having the fiercely beautiful movements of a mountain hawk. The dancers' feet make rapid movements, creating circular patterns around each other, as their arms spread out like wings of eagles. A similar dance is the kinabua performed by a man and a girl or two girls. The dance portrays the hawks' use of sweet songs to lure out the hen and the chicks that are then made into a meal.
Sampak is a war dance of the Mandaya. It requires great skill in the handling of a spear, a sword, and a shield. The sayaw is a dance performed originally by the bailana; nowadays, children may imitate the dance. Like the bailana, two young dancers are dressed completely in native attire. The tungkaling is fastened to the dagmay skirt, and a neckerchief is held on the right hand. The dance starts with a prelude called the basal wherein the gimbal is played slowly. Following the beat, the dance proceeds to the sinakay-sakay or slow swaying of the bottoms. As the beat becomes faster, the movement progress accordingly (Valderrama 1987:53).
Another Mandaya dance is the gandang, accompany by the kudlong or kobeng. It is a free dance for all and usually starts when the elderly get tipsy with wine during a tribal celebration. The dancers may create their own actions that usually follow the rhythm and mood of the music (Valderrama 1987:54).


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References:

Bagani. Man of Dignity. Metro-Manila: the Presidential Commission for the
Rehabilitation and Development of Southern Philippines, 1980.
Cole, Fay - Cooper. The Wild Tribes of Dava District, Mindanao. Field Museum of
Natural History Publication 170. Anthropological Series, Vol XII, No 2. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1913.
Cuasay, Pablo. Kalinangan ng Ating mga Katutubo. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing,
1975.
De los Reyes, Roberto A. An Ethno-Artological Catalogue of the Philippine Traditional
Design Motifs. Design Monograph No 3. Manila: The Design Center, Philippine College of Arts and Trading, 1973.
De los Reyes, Roberto A. Traditional Handicraft Art of the Philippines. Manila:
Casalinda, 1975.
Fuentes, Vilma May A. and Edito T. De la Cruz, (eds). A Treasury of Mandaya and
Mansaka Folk Literature. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1980.
Gagelonia, Pedro A. The Filipinos of Yesteryears. Manila: The Star Book Store, 1967.
Jose-De la Cruz, Mercedita. Sourcebook of the Philippine Traditional Art Motifs and
Craft Processes. Manila: Philippine Committee for International Fund for the Promotion of Culture, 1982.
Landor, A. Henry Savage. The Gems of the East. New York: Harper,1904.
Montano, Jose. "Voyage Aux Philippines". Le Tour du Monde. Eduoard Charton (ed).
Paris: Librairie Hatchette et Cie, 1884.
Nabayra Jr, Emmanuel. "The Balilig." Papers in Mindanao Ethnography. Data Papers
No 2, Ethnographic Series. Marawi: Mindanao State University, 1979.
Orosa-Goquingco, Leonor. The Dances of the Emerald Isles. Quezon City: Ben-Lor
Publications, 1980.
Pegrega, Raimundo. "Breve Narracion Sobre la Tribu Mandaya." Cultura Social, Vol X,
No 116, (Aug 1922), No 117, (Sept 1922).
Peralta, Jesus T. "Briefs on the Major Ethnic Categories." Workshop Paper on Philippine
Ethno-Linguistic Groups. International Festival and Conference on Indigenous and Traditional Cultures. Manila, (22-27 Nov 1988).

Regional Map of the Philippines - XI. Manila: Edmundo R. Abigan Jr. 1988.
Rubinstein, Donald H. Fabric Treasures of the Philippines. Guam: ISLA Center for the
Arts at the University of Guam, 1989.
Valderrama, Ursula C. The Colorful Mandaya: Ethnic Tribe of Davao Oriental. Davao
City: Ursula Valderrama, 1987.
Yengoyen, Aram A. "Mandaya." Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Vol II:
Philippines and Formosa. Frank M. Lebar (ed). New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1975.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #18
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The Manobo (Philippines)

There is an ancient Manobo legend which tells of how a god created man to be immortal. The legend says that immortality was lost when a bird exchanged man's "life breath" for a mere peice of kemp string. For generations the Manobo have learned from childhood that no one has been raised to heaven. Still they hope to leave this world of poverty, sickness, hunger and death for the bliss of heaven. Today some villages are experiencing the joy of knowing Jesus who was raised to heaven by the power of the true and living God.

Ethnicity
There are about 25 tribal groups, linguistically grouped under the "Manobo" family.

Language
The Manobo have 24 main dialects. The following six groups are more closely related than others since their dialects are related. They include the Ata or Langilan Manobo, Tala Ingod, Matig-Salug, Tigwa, Dibabawon and Umayamnon.

Population
The population of the combined groups totals over 100,000.

Location
The island of Mindanao is the second largest of the Philippines archipelago with a land area of 36,505 square miles and the most recent of the major islands to be developed. It is often referred to as the "Land of Promise." The majority of the Manobo are located in the Central Mountains of the island and are seldom found in lowland towns except for going there to trade. Recently, however, many young people have made their way to the urban centers in search of work.

Culture
For hundreds of years these tribes roamed the valleys and mountains, doing slash-and-burn agriculture and having little or no contact with the outside world. From birth they have heard the oral traditions, myths and ballads, and have practiced the ways that made them distinctly Manobo - different from the lowland Filipino and neighboring tribal groups. Perhaps the strongest of their beliefs is that a person cannto leave the traditional spirits and ways and still be a true Manobo.

Livelihood
Physically, the lives of Manobos have been catastrophically altered by the rape of the environment by logging companies. Since the 1960s almost all of the native rain forest has been destroyed. This has rendered the Manobo slash-and-burn agriculture ineffective and no longer viable. Also many Manobo found pleasure in the new way the lowlanders brought, not realizing that the urge for materialism has made them poorer because of their unique lifestyle. Up to 90% of the land that belonged to Manobo has been sold - and is still being sold - to lowlanders. Up to this point in time many Manobo remain subsistence farmers and food gatherers instead of producers but this lifestyle has become increasingly hard without a good rain forest.

Political
Generally speaking, the tribes have been left to govern themselves because the economy is too poor for a tax base. Sadly many Manobo have left the once effective self-governing lifestyle and have become workers for the lowlanders. From the 1970s until the present, the national government has formed agencies to remedy wrongs and upgrade the lives of these minority people. For the most part, these projects have not yet been completed.

Religion

Animism, the fear of evil spirits, is the mainspring of tribal religion. Every village will have at least one spirit priest, usually a man. Animal sacrifices are required to appease the offended spirit in times of illness. All of the tribal groups believe in one great spirit who created everything but then left and turned over the daily affairs of running the world to the spirits.

Openness to Christianity
There is usually a welcome for foreign missionaries although travel may be restricted in some areas. Most of Mindanao tends to be "sensitive" but many people are open to change - especially where their old values and faith are disintegrating under the clash of cultures and the secularizing influence of the cities. Initially, the Manobo are receptive, especially among the developing tribes. Among the more traditional groups, it is more difficult. Many tribal leaders are keen to invite people to come and teach them the Bible for varying reasons, usually because of the resources the outsider brings.

Missions
Over the years various missions and churches have played a part in evangelism among the tribes. This has usually been an offshoot of their main work - church planting among lowlanders. In recent years, however, some larger denominational groups have focused on tribal work and at least one mission besides OMF is working exclusively with four tribal groups (the Tigwa, Langilan, Tala Ingod and Dibabawon).

OMF Involvement
Since 1978 there have been 36 churches (and 18 outreaches on the way to becoming churches) planted among them belonging to the Manobo Bible Church Association of Mindanao. Most churches are closer to the lowlands, while the more remote villages remain without churches. Ministries: Pioneer evangelism, assistance in church planting, medical work, Bible teaching/training of church leaders, agriculture, adult literacy/education, video and radio ministry and mobilizing and training Filipino Christians for cross-cultural ministry.

OMF is working among the Langilan, Talaingod, Tigwa, Dibabawon, Umayamnon and Pulangion Manobo with the MABCAM being the church association of these churches. OMF is also involved with the video ministry among the Manguangan, Kamayo and Teduray. There we work together with already existing church organizations.

Two other tribes that OMF is hoping to start work in soon, are the Rajah Kabunsuwan and Cinamiguin tribes.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #19
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Badjao

Dear Jhaelnis,

The photo of the Badjao kids on a small canoe was taken in the village of Cabukan, Jolo, Sulu. I stayed there for a while in 1999 when the elders asked us to look at the possibility of filing for an ancestral waters claim similar to the one secured by the Tagbanwa in of Coron Island in the Calamianes.

I am just curious, how did you manage to get a hold of that picture which I took way back in 99? I'm pretty sure I did not publish it or put it in any public access/domain portal.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 05:46 AM   #20
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Why do Atis beg?

Jun Ariolo N. Aguirre
2007-03-05

KALIBO, Aklan – Ever wonder why Atis beg for your hard-earned money to buy liquor instead of food?

This is natural for the first inhabitants of Panay, according to Fr. Hermiginio ‘Jun Jun’ Felipe, an Aklanon priest who is studying the Ati’s way of life.

Felipe is currently in the second year of his three-year Cultural Heritage masteral course at the University of Santo Tomas.

Fr. Felipe is among the first five Filipino priests who enrolled in the said course in the country.

The Diocese of Kalibo under Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo commissioned his study.

“In my interviews with the Atis of Western Visayas, I realized that unconsciously their forefathers taught them that they need to demand for money in keeping with an unwritten agreement between the Atis and the Visayans,” Felipe said.

Felipe is referring to the so-called Barter of Panay which has been dismissed by some Filipino historians as a mere legend with no historical basis.

It is said that 10 Bornean datus arrived in Panay in the 13th century AD to escape their cruel king.

The Borneans led by Datu Puti brokered a trade with the Atis who agreed to sell the plains in exchange for a golden saduk and pearl necklace.

The Atis then lived in the mountains as part of the bargain.

The barter and other accounts on the pre-Hispanic history of Panay and Western Visayas were popularized by a historian from Miag-ao, Iloilo.

“After several years, they (Atis) went back to the plains to continuously ask the present Visayan inhabitants for their dowry in exchange for the Panay land they once owned,” he said.

Thus, the Atis believe they are not beggars but collectors of a land deal brokered several centuries ago.

Along this line, this indigenous people also believe they can do whatever they want with the money people give them. They can even taunt as kuripot or tightfisted those who refuse to spare them some coins.

One of the evidence presented by advocates to prove the historicity of the Barter and the 10 Bornean datus is the Ati-Atihan festival which is the modern day presentation of the festivities that followed after the 13th century land deal was consummated.

Fr. Felipe said he is eyeing the possibility of recommending to the Commission on Culture and Arts of the Diocese of Kalibo led by Fr. Boy Quan a new Ati-atihan perspective that will concretize the festival based on available evidence on Panay’s history.

“Right now, I am gathering solid evidence that instead of focusing the festival on the arrival of the 10 Bornean datus and the alleged purchase of Panay, I am planning to shift the focus on more concrete history of Kalibo which historians agree as the origin of the Ati-Atihan and other festivals with a similar theme,” he said.

According to historians, Kalibo came from the word ‘one thousand’ (sanglibo) in memory of the first 1,000 Christian converts in Aklan after the Spaniards arrived in the 18th century.

“Is it possible that the future ati-atihan festival will give emphasis on the first Christian converts of Kalibo and the manner of celebration is giving glory to the Child Jesus (Sto. Niño) for saving Panay by baptizing its inhabitants in the name of Christ?”

“In this way, the history of the Ati-atihan festival will not be anymore questioned by tourists and historians because it will now have a solid historical foundation based on facts and available archeological evidences,” Fr. Felipe added.

Source: The Daily Guardian Iloilo
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