Lumad are a group of non-Muslim indigenous people in the southern
Philippines. It is a Cebuano term meaning "native" or "indigenous".
The term is short for Katawhang
Lumad (Literally: "indigenous
people"), the autonym officially adopted by the delegates of the Lumad
Mindanao Peoples Federation (LMPF) founding assembly on 26 June 1986
at the Guadalupe Formation Center, Balindog, Kidapawan, Cotabato,
Philippines. It is the self-ascription and collective identity of
the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.
2 Ethnic groups
4 Musical heritage
5 Social issues
6 See also
8 External links
See also: Prehistory of the Philippines
Lumad grew out of the political awakening among tribes during
the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. It was advocated
and propagated by the members and affiliates of Lumad-Mindanao, a
coalition of all-
Lumad local and regional organizations which
formalized themselves as such in June 1986 but started in 1983 as a
multi-sectoral organization. Lumad-Mindanao’s main objective was to
achieve self-determination for their member-tribes or, put more
concretely, self-governance within their ancestral domain in
accordance with their culture and customary laws. No other Lumad
organization had the express goal in the past.
Representatives from 15 tribes agreed in June 1986 to adopt the name;
there were no delegates from the three major groups of the T'boli, the
Teduray. The choice of a Cebuano word was a bit ironic but they deemed
it appropriate as the
Lumad tribes do not have any other common
language except Cebuano. This marked the first time that these tribes
had agreed to a common name for themselves, distinct from that of the
Moros and different from the migrant majority and their descendants.
A Bagobo chief.
Lumad are the un-Islamized and un-Christianized Austronesian
peoples of Mindanao. They include groups like the Erumanen ne Menuvu',
Matidsalug Manobo, Agusanon Manobo, Dulangan Manobo, Dabaw Manobo, Ata
Manobo, B'laan, Kaulo, Banwaon, Bukidnon, Teduray, Lambangian,
Higaunon, Dibabawon, Mangguwangan, Mansaka, Mandaya, K'lagan, Subanen,
Tasaday, Tboli, Mamanuwa, Tagakaolo, Talaandig, Tagabawa, Ubu',
Tinenanen, Kuwemanen, K'lata and Diyangan. Considered as "vulnerable
groups", they live in hinterlands, forests, lowlands and coastal
The term lumad excludes the Butuanons and Surigaonons, even though
these two groups are also native to Mindanao. This is due to their
Visayan ethnicity and lack of close affinity with the Lumad. The Moros
like the Maranao, Tausug, Sama-Bajau, Yakan, etc. are also excluded,
despite being also native to
Mindanao and despite some groups being
closely related ethnolinguistically to the Lumad. This is because
unlike the Lumad, the Moros converted to Islam during the 14th to 15th
centuries. This can be confusing, since the word lumad literally means
"native" in the Visayan languages.
Main article: Blaan people
The Blaan is an indigenous group that is concentrated in Davao del Sur
and South Cotabato. They practice indigenous rituals while adapting to
the way of life of modern Filipinos.
Kaamulan Festival celebrated annually in
Bukidnon are one of the seven tribes in the
Bukidnon plateau of
Bukidnon means 'that of the mountains or highlands' (i.e.,
'people of the mountains or highlands'), despite the fact that most
Bukidnon tribes settle in the lowlands. The name
Bukidnon itself used
to describe the entire province in a different context (it means
'mountainous lands' in this case).
Bukidnon people believe in one god, Magbabaya (Ruler of All),
though there are several minor gods and goddesses that they worship as
well. Religious rites are presided by a baylan whose ordination is
voluntary and may come from any sex. The Bukidnons have rich musical
and oral traditions which are celebrated annually in Malaybalay
Kaamulan Festival, with other tribes in
Bukidnon (the Manobo
tribes, the Higaonon, Matigsalug, Talaandig, Umayamnom, and the
Lumad is distinct and should not be confused with a few
indigenous peoples scattered in the Visayas who were also
alternatively called Bukidnon.
The Higaonon is located on the provinces of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur,
Misamis Oriental, Rogongon in Iligan City, and Lanao del Norte. Their
name means "people of the wilderness". Most Higaonons have a rather
traditional way of living. Farming is the most important economic
A 1926 photograph of Bagobo (Manobo) warriors in full war regalia
Mamanwa is a
Negrito tribe often grouped together with the Lumad.
They come from Leyte, Agusan del Norte, and Surigao provinces in
Mindanao; primarily in Kitcharao and Santiago, Agusan del Norte,
though they are lesser in number and more scattered and nomadic than
the Manobos and
Mandaya tribes who also inhabit the region. Like all
Negritos, the Mamanwas are phenotypically distinct from the lowlanders
and the upland living Manobos, exhibiting curly hair and much darker
These peoples are traditionally hunter-gatherers and consume a wide
variety of wild plants, herbs, insects, and animals from tropical
Mamanwa are categorized as having the "negrito"
phenotype with dark skin, kinky hair, and short stature. The
origins of this phenotype (found in the Agta, Ati, and Aeta tribes in
the Philippines) are a continued topic of debate, with recent evidence
suggesting that the phenotype convergently evolved in several areas of
However, recent genomic evidence suggests that the
Mamanwa were one of
the first populations to leave Africa along with peoples in New Guinea
and Australia, and that they diverged from a common origin about
36,000 years ago.
Mamanwa populations live in sedentary settlements
("barangays") that are close to agricultural peoples and market
centers. As a result, a substantial proportion of their diet includes
starch-dense domesticated foods. The extent to which agricultural
products are bought or exchanged varies in each
with some individuals continuing to farm and produce their own
domesticated foods while others rely on purchasing food from market
Mamanwa have been exposed to many of the modernities
mainstream agricultural populations possess and use such as cell
phones, televisions, radio, processed foods, etc.
The political system of the
Mamanwa is informally democratic and
age-structured. Elders are respected and are expected to maintain
peace and order within the tribe. The chieftain, called a Tambayon,
usually takes over the duties of counseling tribal members, speaking
at gatherings, and arbitrating disagreements. The chieftain may be a
man or a woman, which is characteristic of other gender-egalitarian
hunter-gatherer societies. They believe in a collection of
spirits, which are governed by the supreme deity Magbabaya, although
it appears that their contact with monotheist communities/populations
has made a considerable impact on the Mamanwa's religious practices.
They are often taught (by Christian and Catholic rural Pilipinos) that
their animistic beliefs are savage. The tribe produce
excellent winnowing baskets, rattan hammocks, and other household
Mamanwa (also spelled Mamanoa) means 'first forest dwellers', from the
words man (first) and banwa (forest). They speak the Mamanwa
language (or Minamanwa). They are genetically related to the
A hat from the
Mandaya people made up of palm, bamboo, feathers,
cotton, fiber and beads, housed at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
"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
Compostela Valley (formerly a part of Davao del Norte
A Bagobo (Manobo) woman of the
Matigsalug people from Davao
Manobo are an Austronesian, indigenous agriculturalist population
who neighbor the
Mamanwa group in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del
Sur (Garvan, 1931). They live in barangays like the Mamanwa; however,
population size is dramatically larger in the
Manobo settlements in
comparison to those of the Mamanwa. The two groups
interact frequently although the amount of interaction varies between
settlements and intermarriage is common between them (Reid, 2009).
Manobo is the hispanicized spelling of Manuvu. Its etymology is
unclear; in its current form it means 'person' or 'people'.
Manobo are probably the most numerous of the ethnic groups of the
Philippines in the relationships and names of the groups that belong
to this family of languages. Mention has been made of the numerous
subgroups that comprise the
Manobo group.[by whom?] The total Manobo
population is not known, although they occupy core areas from
Sarangani island into the
Mindanao mainland in the provinces of Agusan
del Sur, Davao provinces, Bukidnon, and North and South Cotabato. The
groups occupy such a wide area of distribution that localized groups
have assumed the character of distinctiveness as a separate ethnic
grouping such as the Bagobo or the Higaonon, and the Atta. Depending
on specific linguistic points of view, the membership of a dialect
with a supergroup shifts.
Manobo are genetically related to the Denisovans, much like the
A group of Mansaka tribeswomen in their formal attire.
The term "Mansaka" derives from "man" with literal meaning "first" and
"saka" meaning "to ascend," and means "the first people to ascend
mountains/upstream." The term most likely describes the origin of
these people who are found today in
Davao del Norte
Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
Specifically in the Batoto River, the Manat Valley, Caragan,
Maragusan, the Hijo River Valley, and the seacoasts of Kingking, Maco,
Kwambog, Hijo, Tagum, Libuganon, Tuganay, Ising, and Panabo.
The Sangir, Sangil, or Sangirese are not a tribe, but part of the
Sangirese ethnicity in northern Indonesia. They are located in the
islands of Balut, Sarangani, and the coastal areas of South Cotabato
and Davao del Sur. Their name comes from Sangihe, an archipelago
Sulawesi and Mindanao. This was their original home,
but some migrated northwards to
Mindanao in prehistory.
Currently upon the results of the Sangirese leaders meeting held in
Genersl Santos City, they already identified their chief Sultan and
unanimously proclaiming that Basar Kahardin will be the supreme
Sultan, Al-Haj;Rolly Montaser Sultan of Sangir in the entire Davao
Region and Pendi Colano shall be the Sultan for
Main article: Subanon people
The Subanons are the first settlers of the Zamboanga peninsula. The
family is patriarchal while the village is led by a chief called
Timuay. He acts as the village judge and is concerned with all
History has better words to speak for Misamis Occidental. Its
principal city was originally populated by the Subanon, a cultural
group that once roamed the seas in great number; the province was an
easy prey to the marauding sea pirates of Lanao whose habit was to
stage lightning forays along the coastal areas in search of slaves. As
the Subanon retreated deeper and deeper into the interior, the coastal
areas became home to inhabitants from
Bukidnon who were steadily
followed by settlers from nearby Cebu and Bohol.
Tagabawa is the language used by the Bagobo-Tagabawa. They are an
indigenous tribe in Mindanao. They live in the surrounding areas of
Tagakaulo is one of the tribes in Mindanao. Their traditional
territories is in
Davao Del Sur
Davao Del Sur and the
particularly in the localities of Malalag, Lais, Talaguton Rivers,
Sta. Maria, and Malita of Davao Occidental, and Malungon of the
Sarangani Province.Tagakaulo means living in mountain. The Tagakaulo
tribe originally came from the western shores of the gulf of Davao and
south of Mt. Apo. a long time ago.
Main article: Tasaday
Tasaday is a group of about two dozen people living within the
deep and mountainous rainforests of Mindanao, who attracted wide media
attention in 1971 when they were first "discovered" by western
scientists who reported that they were living at a "stone age" level
of technology and had been completely isolated from the rest of
Philippine society. They later attracted attention in the 1980s when
it was reported that their discovery had in fact been an elaborate
hoax, and doubt was raised both about their status as isolated from
other societies and even about the reality of their existence as a
separate ethnic group. The question of whether
published in the seventies are accurate is still being
Main article: Tboli people
A Tboli dance performed during colorful street dancing competition on
the T'nalak Festival in Koronadal, South Cotabato.
The Tboli are one of the indigenous peoples of South Mindanao. From
the body of ethnographic and linguistic literature on Mindanao, they
are variously known as Toboli, T'boli, Tböli, Tiboli, Tibole,
Tagabili, Tagabeli, and Tagabulu. They term themselves Tboli or
T'boli. Their whereabouts and identity are to some extent confused in
the literature; some publications present the Toboli and the Tagabili
as distinct peoples; some locate the Tbolis to the vicinity of the
Buluan Lake in the
Cotabato Basin or in Agusan del Norte. The Tbolis,
then, reside on the mountain slopes on either side of the upper Alah
Valley and the coastal area of Maitum, Maasim and Kiamba. In former
times, the Tbolis also inhabited the upper Alah Valley floor.
Lumad peoples speak
Philippine languages belonging to various
branches. These include:
Main articles: Music of the
Philippines and Agung
Most of the
Lumad groups have a musical heritage consisting
of various types of
Agung ensembles – ensembles composed of large
hanging, suspended or held, bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drone
without any accompanying melodic instrument.
Norma Capuyan, vice chair of Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa
Cotabato (ASLPC) speaking out in a press conference to defend the
ancestral domains of the Lumad.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the
Lumad controlled an area
which now covers 17 of Mindanao’s 24 provinces, but by the 1980
census, they constituted less than 6% of the population of Mindanao
and Sulu. Significant migration to
Mindanao of Visayans, spurred by
government-sponsored resettlement programmes, turned the
Bukidnon province population grew from 63,470 in 1948
to 194,368 in 1960 and 414,762 in 1970, with the proportion of
indigenous Bukidnons falling from 64% to 33% to 14%.
Lumad have a traditional concept of land ownership based on what their
communities consider their ancestral territories. The historian B. R.
Rodil notes that ‘a territory occupied by a community is a communal
private property, and community members have the right of usufruct to
any piece of unoccupied land within the communal territory.’
Ancestral lands include cultivated land as well as hunting grounds,
rivers, forests, uncultivated land and the mineral resources below the
Unlike the Moros, the
Lumad groups never formed a revolutionary group
to unite them in armed struggle against the Philippine government.
When the migrants came, many
Lumad groups retreated into the mountains
and forests. However, the Moro armed groups and the Communist-led New
People’s Army (NPA) have recruited
Lumad to their ranks, and the
armed forces have also recruited them into paramilitary organisations
to fight the Moros or the NPA.
For the Lumad, securing their rights to ancestral domain is as urgent
as the Moros’ quest for self-determination. However, much of their
land has already been registered in the name of multinational
corporations, logging companies and other wealthy Filipinos, many of
whom are, relatively speaking, recent settlers to Mindanao. Mai Tuan,
T'boli leader explains, "Now that there is a peace agreement for the
MNLF, we are happy because we are given food assistance like rice …
we also feel sad because we no longer have the pots to cook it with.
We no longer have control over our ancestral lands."
Lumad are people from various ethnic groups in
Residing in their ancestral lands, they are often evicted and
displaced due to the Moro people's claim on the same territory.
Lumad have lost parts of their ancestral land due to a failure to
understand the modern land tenure system. To counter this, the
Lumad established schools in their communities, supplying essential
knowledge for the tribe members that would protect their rights,
property and culture. However, the
Lumad communities are located
in mountains that are distant from urban areas. These areas are also
the location sites of armed conflict between the New People's Army
(NPA) and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP). Caught in the
Lumad people's education, property, and security are
endangered because of the increasing amount of military activity by
the armed parties. Increasing military activity have eventually
led to the displacement of the communities to shelter sites.
Anxiety continues to grow among the
Lumad with the escalation of armed
conflict and detainment of community leaders (tribe leaders and
teachers) labelled as rebels by the military. Alternative schools
within the communities (aided by NGOs and universities) face concerns
of closing down or demolition of their property, with some buildings
converted by the military for their use.
Lumad leaders and
tribesmen, having experienced political detention due to false
suspicions as well as the displacement of their tribes from their
areas, have demanded respect for their human rights.
In response to the killing, detention, and displacement of members of
their tribes, the
Lumad have organized groups to gain the public's
attention, calling for the halt of militarization in their
communities. Students, religious leaders, and human rights advocates
have supported the
Lumad in their movement against the militarization.
Activities held to support the
Lumad movements have included concerts,
cultural festivals (focusing on ethnic culture), and commemoration of
Lumad leaders killed in the conflict. Activity leaders have included
Fr. Fausto Tentorio, Fr. Tullio Favali, and Fr. Salvatore
Carzedda. Groups like the Manilakbayan 2015 supported the
movements through recruitment and the handing out of national
situationers to students to spread awareness about the Lumad's
dilemma. The Philippines' Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has
been investigating the incidents in regard to the 2015 murder of Lumad
leaders and a school official by a paramilitary group called
Magahat/Bagani (in line with the idea of CAFGU) created by the AFP
to hunt for NPA members. The AFP denies the allegation and attributes
the killings to tribal conflict. However, the AFP has admitted
that CAFGU has
Lumad recruits within its ranks while asserting that
the NPA has also recruited
Lumad for the group. There is also
delay of a decision on the CHR investigation due to the noncooperation
Lumad group after the interruption of the investigation by the
spokesman of Kalumaran Mindanao, Kerlan Fanagel. Fanagel insists that
the group need not have another 'false' dialogue with the CHR since
CHR has yet to present the results/findings of the investigations from
the past months when
Lumad leaders were killed. Because of the lack of
data, CHR decided to postpone the presentation of their initial report
to the second week of December 2015.
Ethnic groups in the Philippines
Indigenous peoples of the Philippines
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Preserving Culture: the Tboli of Mindanao
The indigenous people of Mindanao
The indigenous people of Central and Eastern Mindanao
Indigenous peoples of the Philippines
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples