Arellano University Legarda, Manila

“Philippine Ethnic Groups And Their Culture”

Submitted by: Joy Mariette B. Cristo BSEd-IV Submitted to: Mrs. Salvacion Uy Professor

some ethnic groups of the Philippines are more powerful than others. especially when they immigrate and dominate another tribe's ancestral domain. Did you think that the ethnicity of the Philippine people is Filipino? Wrong. through armed revolution and active participation in lawmaking respectively. not all of its ethnic groups have been empowered. not ethnicity. their culture more nurtured and their representation in government stronger. however. The unity of these Philippine ethnic groups saw the overthrow of colonizers. Even after the Philippines achieved independence. namely Spain and America. each at one point independent kingdoms and chieftaincies. The Philippines is in fact made up of a tapestry of ethnic groups.Meet Various Ethnic Groups and Discover Their Culture The ethnic groups Philippines are diverse. At times these Philippine ethnic groups come across imperialist-like. Filipino refers to citizenship. Under this dubious and muddled umbrella term "Filipino people". .

Ifugao women wear tapis. they did enter Ifugao territory but were unable to touch their culture and values. There are about five kinds of skirts. family ties. Ifugaw) live in the central part of Ifugao Province. In fact. which means “from the hill. the word Ifugao is said to have come from ipugo. and religious and cultural beliefs. a wraparound skirt.THE IFUGAO: A MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES Mention the word “Ifugao” and it immediately calls to mind the famous man-made Banaue Rice Terraces in northern Luzon. Each village is composed of 12 to 30 houses built near rice terraces and other agricultural resources. which are used depending on the occasion or the man’s social status. There are six types of wanno. The wanno or g-string is the traditional attire of male Ifugaos. . Ifugao culture values kinship. The tribe has two dialects — Burnay and Banaue — and is a part of the Nuclear Cordilleran stock. The Amganad Ifugao (also. which has been included as one of the wonders of the world.” The tribes’ main source of living is agriculture because they are surrounded by mountain ranges. Ifugao is one of the places in the Philippines that has not been influenced by the Spaniards.

love. the people of Ducligan were performing the pangnga sacrifice. One day. pigs and children. dingding . Just above the “lidi” is the “kuling” (beams). tawang – window. dulung – floor.walls. rewrapping and returning them to the grave or “lubuk. care and hope for prosperous years for the living ones. hagpo – the ladder landing or flooring right in the door. I am inviting you to raise up the rice of Bugan and Wigan at Ducligan who sacrifice to you. onob/panto– door.OLD IFUGAO TRADITIONS – BOGWA “Bogwa” is the practice of exhuming the bones of the dead. the farmer deities of the Deity of lagud and of the Deity Giving-growth of the Underworld. The Ifugao is one of the ethnic groups in the Cordillera region of the Philippines that practice this tradition of exhuming their dead usually after a year or more depending on the desire and necessity. the people of ducligan drop down their seedlings as they perform the pangnga sacrifice…” “…The earthquake of the underworld says : let me invite the thunderer of the skyworld. Wigan?” Wigan the Ifugao says: “I am going to drink with the people of Ducligan who are performing the pangnga sacrifice” Wigan gets his spear and dagger and goes to drink with the people of Ducligan. Performing bogwa shows not only the love and care to a family member even though he died several years ago but also the concern. the following are the parts of a house: atop – roof. and the Farmer deities of the Thunderer of the Skyworld so that they may raise the rice up” The thunderer of the Skyworld and the Farmer deities ask : “Are you inviting us. Earthquaker of the Underworld?” The Earthquaker of the underworld says : ” Yes. They farm their rice. “Where are you going.” They say : “Yes. Bogwa repeats the normal burial ceremonies and activities when they died without the expression of grief. With all the animals offered to appease the spirits of the dead. Three days of feasting rather than mourning is expected and an open invitation is extended to everyone within or outside the community.” The ABU’WAB tales of rice rituals (Bone Cleansing Ritual) THE BALE: TRADITIONAL IFUGAO HOUSE A “bale” or “abung”(house) which has four posts about fi ve feet in height. Each post (tukud) has the traditional “lidi” (cylindrical shaped wood placed above the post). we shall do. The Ifugaos traditionally see it as a family responsibility towards the deceased loved one and a necessity for those left behind in order to prosper and live at peace with the spirits of their departed. They have healthy chickens. kuling – beams. the bogwa is one of the most expensive native rituals next to a wedding. cleaning. . The wife Bugan asks Wigan the Ifugao. tukud – post. “There is a woman and a man named Bugan and Wigan who live at Ducligan. By midmorning. In the Tuwali dialect. The geometrical structures prevent rodents from entering the house.

There are occasions however when the family of the boy chooses a girl as the prospective wife. A woman begetting a child out of wed lock is called “nun-lag-lag-a”. This is called “nit-bi”. The “ta-wid” (inheritance) system of the Tuwali usually gives the choicest property to the eldest child. A long queue is formed for the orderly distribution of food. . The boy’s family would propose the matter to the girl’s family.House’s generally had one single space or room where everything from eating to sleeping is done. If the proposal is accepted. However. Males and females have separate “agamang” houses. The “pun-dap-ulan” (fi re place) is located in one corner of the house. the families of the married couple would inform the bride and the groom the respective properties to be inherited. In a particular area of the marriage feast. When the two reach maturity and the woman marry someone else. The roof consists of thatched mountain reeds (bila-u) or “gulun” (cogon grass) and the walls are made of wooden planks or woven bamboo. if the man marries another woman instead. When a union is planned. The marriage feast is characterized by extravaganza of endless dancing and merrymaking. A meal is provided to the multitude who witnessed the affair. The ladder is made up of light wood or bamboo pole which is pulled up inside the house or otherwise lowered down as a means of entry and exit. When the proposal is accepted. the two are parentally engaged but are not allowed to live together. the family of the woman is not obliged to replace the pig. This is called the “mun-ga-wi”. spinsters or bachelors. Courtship is generally done in the house of the woman with the strict supervision of the parents and approval of the girl’s family. going down to the youngest. widowers. They may remarry which is termed as “nun-bintan”. Just above the pundap-ulan is the “hay-ungngan” where palay is dried. COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE Courtship before marriage is customary with early Ifugaos. a pig is sent back to the man’s family as replacement of the pig that was used for the engagement. three pigs (hingngot) are brought to the bride’s residence in an entourage comprising the groom’s relatives and close associates. Affl uent families usually butcher a carabao or a cow and an array of pigs for the marriage celebration. a pig is brought to the girl’s house where the two families host a feast. Later. We use the “tete” (ladder) to get in and out the house. This is called “gala”. At a very young age. This is contrary to the myth that courtship is done in the “agamang” where promiscuity is tolerated. Prostitution and polygamy is never a trait nor practiced by Ifugaos. the choicest "baya" (rice wine) is given to any one who in turn gives gift or dowry to the newly married couple. Further above the “hay-ung-ngan” is the “huguhug” where fi rewood is piled to dry using the heat from the fi re in the “pun-dap-ulan. This is called “mun-bolhe” (divorce) in the tuwali tribe. Pertinent matters about the marriage are discussed. This is called “hamul”. We sat on the “dalapong” (wooden stool about 6 inches to 1 ft in height). It is usually a house owned by childless couples. Couples in some occasions separates basically because they are childless. It is uncommon that early Ipuggo couples would separate due to infi delity. the man’s family sends an intermediary to inform the woman’s family about the intention. The “hay-ung-ngan” is woven bamboo where about five to six bundles of palay are spread to dry. The “agamang” is a house in the locality where people go to sleep only at night.

The Ifugaos. imps and spirits dwelling in trees. The major gods Liddum. RICE CULTURE Ifugao culture revolves around rice.500 deities in various ranks from gods. stones. mountains. Liddum is regarded as the chief mediator between the people and the other gods. The myths and folktales tell of their gods and goddesses. are meant to “bribe” the gods and win their favor. another more elaborate series is resorted to. by those present) are clearly specified in Ifugao tradition. provided the family can afford the expense. He is their chief god. rice cakes. Wigan and Yogyog are invoked to intercede with Mah-nongan or any of the particular major gods who might have caused sickness or other suffering. If the first series of rituals brings no improvement in the patient’s condition. Barton listed as many as 1. are nature worshipers and ancestor worshipers. Punholdayan. The bagol ceremony lasts from early evening till late morning. and 'moma' (mixture of several herbs. one being the earth itself. Ampual. thus making it necessary to offer sacrifices to the several gods concerned. the malady can only be cured by having other deities intercede for the invalid. The exact prayers to be recited by the mombaki and the number of chickens or pigs to be sacrificed (and later eaten. related supernatural beings. The people do not consider any of their deities as supreme but generally refer to Mah-nongan as the honorary dead and creator of all things. to demons. Hinumbian.Religious Beliefs and Practices Ifugao religious beliefs are expressed in the numerous rites and prayers (baki) that comprise the main body of Ifugao myths. four regions being above the earth. A horde of major and minor deities are invoked at every ritual. which are always accompanied by animal offering and drinking of wine. There is an elaborate and complex array of rice culture feasts inextricably linked with taboos and intricate agricultural rites. which is considered a prestige crop. The Ifugaos believe that the cosmos is composed of six regions. These invocations. of course. their ancestors and the forces of nature. from rice cultivation to rice consumption. aside from being deity worshipers. Harvest season calls for grandiose thanksgiving feasts. the major gods being appealed to first. The people believe that since certain gods cause sickness. The alim is chanted by a chief mombaki (mombagol) and eight to twelve other priests. and the sixth lying under the earth. and rivers aside from the omnipresent ancestor spirits. while the concluding harvest rites "tungo" or "tungul" (the day of rest) entail a strict taboo of any agricultural work. Partaking of the rice wine (bayah). powdered snail shell and betel nut/ arecoline: and acts as a chewing gum to the Ifugaos) is an indelible practice during the festivities and ritual activities . monsters.

" which in various Philippine languages means "black" as inferred from the Tagalog term itim and the Visayan term itom. the word also means "goblin" or "forest spirit. For example. "Negrito" or "little black one" is a Spanish term coined from the word "negro." a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors.NEGRITOES: THE AETAS OF THE PHILIPPINES "Aeta." An Aeta group may resent a name designated by non-Aeta groups or neighbors." akin to the positive connotation of "mestizo" for lowlanders. In Ilocano." The Aeta are a mountain people who are dark skinned. the term "baluga" is acceptable to some Aeta groups since it means "hybrid." and "Ita". But relativity. kinky haired. their geographical situation. small of frame. Because the majority of Filipinos look down on their dark color. or their relationship with their neighbors." "Ati. and which is the colloquial term for anyone with dark skin. is the rule of thumb." "Agta.these probably derive from the root word "it." "Atta (Ata). is also considered insulting by other Aeta groups since it means "brackish." On the other hand. snub nosed." "Ayta. especially when they consider the given names deprecating. Various Aeta groups have been differentiated in curious ways. The Aeta have different names which may refer to their history." . half-salt and half-fresh. for instance. one group in northern Luzon is known as "Pugut" or "Pugot. The word "Baluga". and with big black eyes. some groups resent being called "Ita. it seems. short.

in their effort to reach every Philippine tribal group with the Christian Gospel reached out to the Agtas/Aetas. In the mid-60s missionaries of the American-based Evangelical Protestant mission group New Tribes Mission. necklaces. valley and other places. Today most Aeta who have been in contact with lowlanders have adopted the T-shirts. and Mariveleño. With the use of a file. For example. Those who believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being who rules over lesser spirits or deities. the Pinatubo Aeta believe in environmental spirits such as anito and kamana. and is attached to a string around the waist. The teeth are dyed black a few years afterwards. calves and abdomen. lime and other means to form scars. Religion There are different views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. These include. pants and rubber sandals commonly used by the latter. Other "decorative disfigurements" include the chipping of the teeth. They believe that good and evil spirits inhabit the environment. such as the spirits of the river. The Aetas intentionally wound the skin on their back. hill. Ambala. Girdles. . Pinatubo worshipping "Apo Na". in order of number of speakers. Similarly. Mag-indi. The Aetas are also animists. the Dumagat modify their teeth during late puberty. Abellen. Elder women wear bark cloth. legs. with the Aeta of Mt. and then they irritate the wounds with fire. The mission agency provided education including pastoral training for natives to reach members of their own tribe. The young women wear wrap around skirts. Jehovah's Witnesses also have members of the Aeta people Clothing Their traditional clothing is very plain. sea. they perform a dance which is partly an apology to the fish and partly a charm to ensure the catch. Flowers and leaves are used as earplugs for certain occasions. hands. which have sometimes diverged over time to become different languages. The Aetas generally use ornaments typical of people living in subsistence economies. Today.CULTURE Language All Aeta communities have adopted the language of their Austronesian Filipino neighbors. mountain. and neckbands of braided rattan incorporated with wild pig bristles are frequently worn. The night before Aeta women gather shellfish. breast. The Aetas dance before and after a pig hunt. No special occasion is needed for the Aeta to pray. The old women of the Agta wear a bark cloth strip which passes between the legs. arms. although there is a clear link between prayer and economic activities. a large percentage of Agtas/Aetas of Zambales and Pampanga are Evangelicals. while elder men wear loin cloths. Mag-antsi. sky. Art A traditional form of visual art is body scarification. the men hold a bee dance before and after the expeditions for honey.

These spirits inhabit the balete tree (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:77-78) The Aeta are also animists. Similarly. the god of hunting. They believe that good and evil spirits inhabit the environment. Pawi. duyan or rattan hammocks. . The night before Aeta women gather shellfish. the Mamanua. love. The Ati of Negros island call their environmental spirits taglugar or tagapuyo.Music The Aeta have a musical heritage consisting of various types of agung ensembles – ensembles composed of large hanging. which literally means "from/inhabiting a place. Geometric designs are etched on arrow shafts (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:115). although there is a clear link between prayer and economic activities. According to anthropologist E. sickness. bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drone without any accompanying melodic instrument. and other places. the god of the sea. produce excellent nego or winnowing baskets. Manuel notes other lesser deities of the Agta. They are also skillful in weaving and plaiting. they perform a dance which is half an apology to the fish and half a charm to ensure the catch. the god of the forest. Visual Arts and Crafts The most common form of Aeta visual art is the etching found in their daily tools and implements. Those who believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being who rule over lesser spirits or deities. like other Aeta groups. and death. the hill. and Sedsed. Kedes. the Agta believe in a supreme being named Gutugutumakkan. No special occasion is needed for the Aeta to pray. For example. and peace of heart. Arsenio Manuel. the men hold a bee dance before and after the expeditions for honey. the sky. There are four manifestations of the "great creator" who rules the world: Tigbalog is the source of life and action." They also believe in spirits of disease and comfort (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:79-80). the sea. such as the spirits of the river. the Pinatubo Aeta believe in environmental spirits such as anito and kamana. the mountain. while Binangewan is responsible for change. For example. Amas moves people to pity. The Aeta dance before and after a pig hunt. unity. This is done on the outer surfaces of various household containers/utensils and ornaments. Religious Beliefs and Practices There are divergent views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. Lueve takes care of production and growth. and other household containers (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:29-31). suspended or held. the valley. Bamboo combs are decorated with incised angular patterns. The Mamanua believe in the supreme Magbabaya while the Pinatubo Aeta worship Apo Namalyari.

The end opposite the teeth has attachments like plumes of long tail feathers of mountain cocks and other birds. breast. They also produce raincoats made of palm leaves whose bases surround the neck of the wearer. and a coconut resonator called kuhitan. Elder women wear bark cloth. pants and rubber sandals commonly used by the latter. Performing Arts Some of the musical instruments found (Kroeber 1919) among the Aeta are the flute. arms. jew's harp made of a silver of slit bamboo. which is made from a section of bamboo. The bansik of the Aeta of Zambales is a four-hole flute made of mountain cane. necklaces. and the elder men loincloths. and then irritate the wounds with fire. The kullibaw of the Aeta is a jew's harp made of bamboo. The aydluing of the Mamanua is a long guitar with several strings. or other attachments like fibers and strings (Peralta 1977:536-538). which are arranged symmetrically. hands. similar to the kudyapi of other Mindanao groups. Cloth wraparound skirts are worn by the women when young. and the bamboo violin (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:109). The old women of the Agta wear a bark cloth strip which passes between the legs. Instruments were documented in 1931 by Norberto Romualdez (1973) among the Aeta groups. Flowers and leaves are used as earplugs. from which two cords are slit loose from the outer skin of the bamboo and given tension by brides.Women exclusively weave winnows and mats. Today most Aeta who have been in contact with lowlanders have adopted the T-shirts. a traded bronze gong. The Aeta generally use ornaments typical of peoples living in subsistence economies. calves and abdomen. The Aeta cause wounds on the skin of the back. At one end. and is attached to a string around the waist. except in front. A traditional form of visual art is body scarification. The kabungbung of the Aeta of Bataan is a guitar made of one closed node of bamboo. usually for certain occasions and discarded when the need lapses. The gurimbaw of the Aeta of Tayabas has a bow called gaka made from fibers of the lukmong vine. and neckbands of braided rattan are worn frequently. and whose topmost part spreads like a fan all around the body. The outer convex surface is profusely etched with varied geometric designs or decorated with curvilinear incisions. lime and other means to form scars. often incorporated with wild pig bristles. legs. Girdles. A hole is cut into the bamboo under the two cords for resonance. at the height of the waistline (Noval-Morales and Monan 1979:31). Aeta ornamentation is best exemplified by the comb. Only men make armlets. the teeth of the comb are meticulously carved. The traditional clothing of the Negrito is very simple. . of the oldest tribes in the Philippines. making them one of the original inhabitants of the Philippines.THE TAGBANUA: COUNTRYSIDE PEOPLE IN EL NIDO PALAWAN The Tagbanua tribe. are found in central and northernPalawan. Research has shown that the Tagbanua are possible descendants of the Tabon Man. The Tagbanua 42 letter Alphabet .

at the northern end of Palawan. are the most well known examples of Tagbanua woodcarvings or sculpture. the tree would be cut around the trunk. They occupy areas in the northern. Carved animals are used with rice. Anklets of copper and brass wire were also crafted and worn by women. Others that are not used in rituals become toys for children. They strung bead necklaces to be used in covering women's necks. The Tagbanua are the most widely distributed group on Palawan Island. Visual Arts and Craft The traditional costumes of the Tagbanua were fashioned from the bark of trees. These baskets are made if blackened and natural bamboo. creating even holes for the screen.may have been derived from "taga" meaning "people from" and "banua" meaning "countryside. and the southern highlands dwellers known as the Palawan. until it is soft to hang loose from the bole. which makes the designs. are made with different unusual shapes.The term "Tagbanua" .also spelled "Tagbanwa" and "Tagbanuwa" . and southern parts of the island. western-type clothing has found its way among the people. with simple etched or incised features exposing the original whit grain of the wood. dugyan (a small ground animal). the Tagbanua numberd about 10. The soft rice baskets. stand out. In 1988. To produce interesting block and V-shapes. and wild pigs. The Tagbanua later adopt some articles of Muslim clothing. kiruman (turtle). floats on grains of palay in an ancient Ming trade bowl. kararaga (a native bird). betel nut. while women wore only brief wraparound skirts made from bark. To the north of the main Tagbanua communities live the small and dwindling Palawan group known as Ken-uy. This is washed and dried under the sun. when both men and women wore their hair long. These have square bases and round tops. a ritual bowl. In the past. On Culion Island. . In the past. The cone-shaped type of basket is another fine example of Tagbanua skilled artistry.000. particularly the salugin. the center of the cone has the bamboo strip skived slightly smaller. A mallet would beat the layer. lizards. At present. and carved earplugs from the hardwood bantilinaw. for instance. particularly the eastern and the western coastal area. central. menfolk wore simple loincloths. they filled and blackened their teeth. also live some Tagbanua groups. the plain buri sides superimposed with colored buri. and other offerings to attract the deities and spirit relatives in the pagdiwata rituals. Some of the objects carved are mammanuk (rooster). They excel in the number of designs which they apply to their tingkop (harvest basket) made of hard strip bamboo." and therefore means "people from the inland area". the outer bark stripped off to expose the inner layer. The Tagbanua also carved wooden combs and bracelets. The turtles. the near-coastal plains and the valleys of central Palawan. Philippines. called bayong-bayong. supported by a woven rattan waistband called ambalad. Color is woven into the Tagbanua basket with the used of dyed palm leaves. Blackened woodcarvings of animals. while many Tagbanua still wear their traditional apparel. Using black and natural color designs outside. After being felled. Baskets and woodcarvings are the more notable products of Tagbanua artistic crafts today. The funnel effect is accomplished through a close weaving of the bamboo strips towards the top. The preparation of this bark was unique.

since it is a part of a sacred ritual that takes place only once a year. rice wine being the only thing absent in the spirit world. supplication for a bountiful harvest or a successful hunt. The dancing accompanying the runsay. solo dance by the female babaylan and her attendants. perform at social gatherings. kalindapan. But the most important mimetic forms are the rituals where the priestess is possessed by and plays the role of the deity to whom the offerings are being made. composed of lengths of bamboo with openings of various sizes producing different notes when struck with a stick. the pagang and tibuldu. which is fashioned from a half coconut shell. performed about midnight and lasting until daybreak. ritual dances performed by the villagers on the seashore. The ritual is undertaken for any of various purposes: healing of the sick. supplant the other instruments. jewelry. a dance simulating the gathering of camote. rice cakes. also called pagdiwata or inim. batak ribid. music and other offerings. the kudlung or boat lute. sarungkay. In addition. a traditional dance. is possibly the most moving of all Tagbanua dances. cooked rice. such as batak ribid and bugsay-bugsay. the performers are dressed in their costumes. Drama in Tagbanua society is expressed in the mimetic dances imitating animals. Guests who attend the albarka ritual watch dances such as the busak-busak. and is performed on the beach from where the ritual raft has been launched towards the sea world. a paddle dance using fans. and the tiring. and the gongs and drums are still played during rituals. bugsaybugsay. two variations of the bamboo zithers. a showing off dance. Modern acoustic type guitar and the ukulele. thanksgiving for rice harvest. whose top was made from the skin of the bayawak or monitor lizard. and hold in each hand a dried palm leaf called palaspas. played or sung continuously throughout the dance. and mortals to the gods and the spirit of the dead . also called soriano. such as busakbusak. The jars of fermented rice wine play a most important role in these rituals. bungalon. there were two generic types of gongs obtained from the shallow babandil. When dancing during a festival. which is essentially an open invitation to the deities to partake of a lavish feast of ceremonial tabad. the babarak or nose flute. and the general well being of the village. The mouth flute is still in use. since the beverage binds the individual to the group. The known dances associated with the rituals are the following: abellano. runsay. These included the aruding or jew's harp. The music of the andardi is composed of one part of twelve measures. and tarek. the spider dance. tugatak and tarindak. because they the means by which the deities are attracted to participate in the feast.Performing Arts Complementing the rich Tagbanua rituals and social gatherings in the past was an assortment of musical instruments. The andardi is a festival dance of the Tagbanua in and around Aborlan. after they have drunk the ceremonial tabad (rice wine). segutset. Drum or gongs accompanies the music and the song. the gimbal or drum. the tipanu or mouth flute. where bamboo rafts laden with food offering are floated for the gods. a dance for all participants of a pagdiwata. performed by male combatants using round winnowers or bilao to represent shields. The bond formed through the rice wine is at once social and cosmological. The most important of Tagbanua rituals is the diwata. The ritual is held in honor of Mangindusa and the other deities. tamigan. a courtship dance. and those showing occupations. bugas-bugasan. dances perform by the villagers who attend an inim or pagdiwata. a healing dance by the main babaylan as she balances a sword on her head and waves ugsang or palm leaf strip. a traditional dance performed by males.

and promises tabad should the ill become well. dancing. The bilang rituals begin with the rite of divination. and the burning of the parina (incense) whose pleasant smells attract the deities and spirits of the dead. the food is distributed to the children first. and conclusion of blood compacts. The bilang ceremony is the all-important ritual for the dead. In Babatan lives a deity known as diwata kat libatan. Religious Beliefs and Practices The Tagbanua's relationship with the spirit world is the basis for their rituals. Other spirits inhabit the forests and environment. The Tagbanua recognize the existence of a supreme being called Mangindusa who sits up in the sky and lets his feet dangle below. The Tagbanua cosmology includes the sky called langit. Rituals offering include rice. such as ceremonial platforms and rafts. While any adult can invoke the spirits of the dead in other Tagbanua rituals. Hunters invoke the assistance of the spirits of the dead relatives in asking the owners of the wild pigs to allow their hunting dogs to locate the prey. The celebrants together with the offerings prepare a jar of tabad with sipping reeds. a time when tabad becomes plentiful. The bilang ceremony involves the paurut (invocation) of as many spirit relatives as possible through incantation. courting. The communal drinking of tabad through the reed straws follows. and dances. The focal point of Tagbanua life is the period immediately following the harvest. The gongs are played as the paurut is being performed. After the ritual offering of the articles have been laid out on the mat. The sky is held up in place by immense tree trunks. It takes place after the rice harvest. to those which are led by the community's leader on behalf of the people. and then to the guests. then the bilang mat is removed. and their music is an added incentive for the spirit to descend on the gathering. " an infinitely high canopy" which encompasses the visible celestial region. This makes use of the babaylan who performs the brief rite of panawag near the grave of the dead relative by making offerings of the betel quids and ceremonial cigarettes. One maybe found in Babatan. A being called Tungkuyanin sits on the edge of this celestial region. the highest-ranking deity. while in Sidpan is the deity known as diwata kat . and belief in their existence necessitates rituals to placate them or gain their favors. and curing all kinds of ailments. Rain is a gift of Mangindusa. It is believed that there is a deity who accompanies the soul of the dead to its final destination. the other is in Sidpan the west. his feet dangling in the vastness of the cosmos. Such celebrations call for special structures to be built. chicken and betel nut. placating the spirits of the surroundings. providing magical charms for hunters and fishers. These ceremonies and rituals takes place on all levels. his eyes always cast down toward the earth. The babaylan performs rituals of life. A mutya (charm) is commonly used to help its possesor succeed in the hunt.and the deities. to determine which among the spirit relatives has caused a person's illness. only the babaylan can summon them in the pagdiwata. celebration. from birth to death. when there is much singing. At the center of the diwata rituals is the babaylan. above the earth. a very festive social event that lasts through the night. who has the responsibility of selecting the areas for a new clearing. Every family is expected to host one or more bilang rituals. The many ceremonial feasts punctuating Tagbanua life are based on a firm belief in a natural interaction between the world of the living the world of the dead. the east. ranging from rituals perform within the family.

the only recognized public dusa is sumbang (incest). his or her soul remains on earth for seven days. Beneath the dibuwat reside the bulalakaw or diwata kat dibuwat. in a region between the sky world and the earth. If the cause of death is epidemic sickness. the souls travels to basad. In Tagbanua society. flying deites who roam the region of the clouds. the underworld. . In present society. which mirrors exactly that of the living. his messengers. A Tagbanua is believed to have six souls in all. Those who died because their souls were caught by the environmental or evil spirits . the watcher who guards the vine bridge called balugu. the spirits of the Tagbanua who died violently or were poisoned. "keeper of the fire. Both of them control the rain. until the kapupusan or rites for the dead are finished.their soul will transform into biyaladbad and will inhabit the environment. The underworld of the Tagbanua has clearer outlines than the blurred and indeterminate sky world. as well as spirits of women who died while giving birth. There is the sacred river. Lambay is any ceremony. kalabagang. He lives with his wife Bugawasin. while the other souls appear only during the lambay ritual for the child upon reaching one month or two. meaning "high". If a person from poisoning or violence the souls goes to inhabit the "high regions". and other celestial beings. The kiyarulwa is a gift of Mangindusa to a child emerging from the mother's womb. In this case. ready to come to the aid of any Tagbanua needing their help. Mangindusa holds the society responsible for the sumbang. Below the langit is the sky world. and live a life. In fact the creation of the world and of human beings is said to have been the handiwork of the diwata. but returns to its former house at night to observe the behavior of those left behind. a huge fine is imposed and in top of this a special lumbay ritual must given in honor of Mangindusa. although Christian mythology has had some influence in imbuing Mangindusa with more powers than he used to possess. society punished the offenders by drowning them in the sea. there is no traditional ascription to him as the sole "creator" of the world. Mangindusa's punishment of the society may take the form of withholding the rains. the spirits of the dead become known as tiladmanin. These other souls are found at the extremities of the hands and feet. and five secondary souls called the payu. It lies beyond the langut. In it journey to the underworld. Later it meets Anggugru. A being called Tumangkuyun is tasked with washing the trunks of the trees with blood of Tagbanua who died in epidemics. When a person dies the kiyarulwa wanders to four possible destinations. Mangindusa has always been traditionally considered as the punisher of dusa (crime). it goes down in basad or planting time on earth is harvest time in basad. the soul lingers on in the grave at daytime. and on top of the head. While Mangindusa is considered the highest-ranking deity." who welcomes the soul to the underworld and gives it fire. As the sun rises on earth. where soul meets taliyakad. In the past. which is directly addressed to Mangindusa. then the soul will go to the kiyabusan. When a Tagbanua dies. which includes the clouds. If a person dies of natural death. Mangindusa dwells in a sacred area called Awan-awan. For seven days. A "true soul" called kiyarulwa.sidpan. But the structure of basad is interesting: everything is the reverse of what happens in the world of living. the soul encounters several places and characters. In the dibuwat live the bangkay. This region is called dibuwat. In basad.

Cagayan. Tboli. Bukidnon. Southern Cotabato and Davao Manobo. Ubo of the Mt Apo region in Davao. Ata. Tigwa. Kulamanen. aboriginal" and "tuvu" meaning "grow. Kirintekan. Tigwa Manobo. Bagobo. Tasaday. Tagabawa. western Bukidnon Manobo. Manobo languages representative of these groups are Agusanon.. Cotabato Manobo. Dibabawon Manobo. Umayamnon. Ethnolinguist Richard Elkins(1966)coined the term "Proto-Manobo" to designate this stock of aboriginal non-Negritoid people of Mindanao. . and western Bukidnon. A fourth is from "man" meaning "first. hence meaning "river people. Sarangani. Dibabawon." the name of a creek that presently flows to Pulangi River about 2 km below Cotabato City. Tagabawa. Cagayano of Cagayancillo Island. Cotabato(which include the Arumanen. growth. Higaonon." Manobo " is the hispanized form. Eatern Davao Manobo. Ilianon Manobo. Kidapawan. and western Cotabato Manobo (Elkins 1966. The first Manobo settlers lived in northern Mindanao: Camiguin. Matigsalug. Binukid of Mindanao. Banwaon. Banwaon. it may also have been originally "Mansuba" from man (person or people) and suba (river). earlier than the Ifugao and other terrace-building peoples of the northern Luzon. Olson 1967). Subgroups are: Agusan-Surigao. Sarangani Manobo. Ilianon.The Manobos: River People of Cotabato "Manobo" or "Manuvu" means "person" or "people". Magahat. and some areas of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Livunganen. Rajah Kabungsuan. The Manobo Belong to the original stock of proto-Philippine or proto-Austronesian people who came from South China thousands of years ago. Kinamigin of Camiguin Island. Blit. Manuvu. Ubo." A third derivation is from "Banobo. and Livunganen).

Village members could also become enslaved if they could not pay the penalty for a crime they had committed. and the Ilianon along the Pulangi river basin . however could win their freedom through diligence in the fulfillment of their duties. but dispersed settlements have none. Slaves who were treated like members of the family although still in servitude are bilew. who had been seized in raids. and the degree of acculturation. the Matigsalug of the middle Davao River area. however many Manobo groups shifted to corn culture because of the gradual disappearance of swidden sites. and all agricultural rituals center around it. The subgroup Manuvu did not develop a datuship system until the middlle of the 20th century. Slaves. faithfulness to their master. The commoners were farmers. On the other hand. and it was considered an insult if . commoner. : "eastward" (Davao of Matigsalug). Compact villages traditionally have three or fourdatu or timuay (chieftains). However. other supplementary foods are sweet potatoes and cassava. In the late 190s. Economy The upland Manobo practise swidden or slash-burn farming whereas those inhabiting the valleys practise wet-rice farming. is a male or female priest and healer. The bagani class. the agricultural system practised. the Agusanon Manobo. Other major means of subsistence are fishing. or payment of their debt through servitude. a wooden beam that functions as a divider at the center of the house). The term "datu" was used by the Visayan traders for this chief but not by the Manobo. one western Bukidnon Manobo recounts the elaborate rites that used to be held to install the chosen datu or bai (famale datu). the Manobo live a seminomadic life. and trapping. Because of these occupations. hunting. belonged to the ruler and were usually given away as part of the bridewealth. Some Manobo groups did not have a fromal system of chieftainship until the present century. bee hunting. and "westward" (Lanao Lake of the Maranao). the baylan. depending on the terrain. the Attaw or Jangan of the midland area which is now within the jurisdiction of Davao City. whom they chose by a common agreement called the lantung (literally. the Tahavawa and Bilaan in the south and southeast. He was simplu a bagani (warrior) a title that he shared with other members of the bagani class. Rice culture is so central to the Manobo way of life that there are more than 60 different names for rice varieties. now gone. A great number of people would converge at a place called the center of the earth for ceremonies that involved several aspiring datu who represented four directions: the "Upstream direction" (Cotabato of the Maggindanao). The Spaniards called him masikampo (derived from maestre de campo) and the Moro called him kuyano/kulano. adultery. Political System Manobo settlements are either dispersed or relatively compact. In times of famine. Social Organization and Customs The traditional social structure consists of four classes: the bagani.The Manobo have for their neighbors the Talaandig of Bukidnon. In 1910. did not have a title for chief. emergency foods are unripe bananas and wild yam. The people of these four directions recognized a ruler. for example. or verbal offense. Besides corn grit. This was the site of barter dealings with the Muslim traders who travelled upriver into the hinterlands. who can still be found. The baylan. some Manobo villages that have established permanent settlements have shifted to the cultivation of coconut for copra export. such as thievery. and slave. and the slaves. defended the community and went to battle. destruction of property.

Typical decorative colors are red. for the bloodthirst busaw (ghouls) are around. with contrasting colors for the sleeves and embroidery thread. Traditional costume most extensively described by researchers are those of the Agusanon Manobo.. usually belonging to kinship group or groups allied by marriage.they were referred to as slaves. horizontal lines and zigzags. rectangles. . defense. a blouse with flared sleeves: the men wear the binukad. red. and blue. Binain or decorative patterns are geometric. navy blue. and black cloth. embroidery colors are red. and green. and representational figures such as a dancing man. yellow. big floral designs are preferred. and the keleluza plant. neckline. It is embroidered on all the seams.. so that it is pulled over the head. she must not come out of the water she has adjusted the position of the baby in her womb. such as diamonds. Traditional fabric for clothes was abaca or hemp. Manobo ancestors had blankets of abaca fiber which were linetungan if these had multicolored design. Village members. yellow. Among the Tigwahanon. and crocodiles. is closed. expect assistance from each other in matters of subsistent labor. black. with red and white as the favorite embroidery or patch work colors. and triangles. The Agusanon Manobo usually wear red. and the Matigsalug. shoulders. the jacket for both men and women. the Bukidnon/Higaonon. which is at the waist level. and support in crises. i. squares. white. A pregnant woman observes several taboon protect the infant's life and health. ridiculing someone for their low status physical handicap. sides. yellow. white. weaved by the ikat process. Based on the type of decoration used. Dyes were acquired from plants and trees: the tagum plant and the bark of the lamud treee produced lack. If cotton trade cloth is bought. The costume style varies with each tribal group. the Manobo wore bark cloth to cover their genitalia. blue. She stays indoors when the sky is red at sunset. but is now cotto cloth obatained through trade. black. The color of the body of the jacket with it's matching skirt or trousers identifies the tribal groups to which the wearer belongs. After bathing. green.e. the turmeric root. the women wear the pakabu. yellow. the typical Manobo jacket. the hemline. She must never run or even just stubbing her toe will cause a miscarriage. western Bukidnon women's blouses are called linebian (zigzag) kinulingtan ( striped patchwork). for the Manuvu did not know weaving. One who did so was committing tempela. Patchwork consists of red. It was during the 19th century that contact with other groups acquainted the Manuvu with abaca cloth. Today they wear Western clothes: the skirt and blouse or dress for the women. Typical colors are red. The Agusanon Umpak o Illianon Kumbala. Intervillage relationship is based on upakat or reciprocity. Visual Arts and Crafts Before the Spanish colonial period. and the western Bukidnon. white. The heavily embroidered traditional Manobo costume is now worn only on special occasions. According the Manuel (1973). trousers and sports shirt for men. stars. leaves. and bayas if plain white. blue and white. The Umayamnon Manobo wear royal blue. Ginuwatan are inwoven representational designs such as flowers. the cuffs. this costume was introduced only in the early part of this century or a little earlier. tinedtezan (geometrical patchwork patterns).

and humorous tales. and occasionally gong six. and teterema. which are three or four lowerpitched gongs providing a melodic costinato. and embroidered in the typical colors and designs on the sides and cuffs. the men's jacket is short. and long sleeved. riddles. the seams of the jacket are covered with cotton tuffs of red. a news item. and the bandil. panonggelengan. which was predominantly red. consisting of the higher-pitched gongs. The trousers are kept in place with a drawstring. The ahong has 10 small knobbed gongs hung vertically on a frame usually in a triangular formation. and "Malandoy" (clan reunion). A strip of cloth of a different color from the jacket is sewn between the sleeves and the body of the jacket. . fables. The gaantuhan layer stands as he/she strikes gongs one to six in repeated melodic patterns. panumanon. or five small hand-held gongs as in the sagagong. The red jacket and trousers were embroidered in the same colors and designs as the ordinary man's attire. It is worn with the arms passing under two strings attached to both sides. to both ends of which are attached tassels in the typical colors. Both types reach to just below the knees. ituan. The working trousers are close fitting and plain. and Owaging. the lowest-pitched gong. epics. "Tukubong" (reconciliation). and yellow cotton yarn at the corners. trousers: one for working and the other for festive occasions. The top of the jacket's back is covered with an embroidered band. moderately close fitting. folktale. Both gandingan and bandil players are sited either crossed-legged or on their heels. The Tigwahanon call this type of trousers the bandira. myths and legends. and dark blue. yellow. LITERARY ARTS The Manuvu have atukon. The Ilianon Manobo have the following narrative prose forms: tudtul. sometimes moving away from the gongs as he/she interjects some dance movements. usually decorated only by a fringe of multicolored yarn that is attached around the seam. while the bandil player is limited to gong ten. which may consist of 8 to 10 agong (gongs) as in the ahong of Magpet. it is surrounded by tassels and covered with beads and embroidery. which carry the melody. His red headkerchief was embroidered with white. proverbs. Narrative poems and lyric poems are generally also ritual songs addressed to gods. blue. If elaborately decorated. The gongs I the set are grouped into the kaantuhan. a historical account. with the smallest gong near the apex.For most groups. the gandingan. 4-6 cm wide. The chief of the bagani had a special attire. Most Manobo men have two kinds of sawa/sawal. and nine. The gandingan player strikes gongs seven. a square abaca knapsack. The festive trousers are square cut. The variance can be observed in the gong ensembles. baggy. eight. The men carry their betel quid in a kamuyot. square cut. Besides being embroidered. A fringe of cotton yarn is sewn between all the seams except at the waist. folktales. PERFORMING ARTS Manobo music differs from one group to another. which sets the tempo. The ahong is heard during festive occasions and has in its repertoire pieces entitled "Panihuman" (conversation). guhud. "Badbad" (thanksgiving).