Maranao people (Maranao: ['mәranaw]; Filipino: Mëranaw (based on
Papanoka Mera)), also spelled Meranao, Maranaw (based on Marapatik)
and Mëranaw, is the term used by the Philippine government to refer
to the southern tribe who are the "people of the lake" (Ranao in the
Iranaon language), a predominantly-
Muslim region of
the Philippine island of Mindanao. They are known for their artwork,
weaving, wood and metal crafts and epic literature, the Darangen.
2.4.1 Social structure
5 Notes and references
6 External links
A satellite image of Lake Lanao.
The word Maranao is a misnomer as it does not have a sense in
reference to nouns such as people, places or things. The prefix Ma-
means 'to be', i.e., Maranao means to be a lake. Alternatively, the
word Maranao may be a portmanteau of "Malay" and "Lanao" or Lake Lanao
thus making it "Maranao" which means people living around Lake Lanao).
The proper term is Iranon (also Iranun) which means "People of the
Lake," referring to the indigenous people who inhabited the lands
around the lake. The Maranaos are part of the wider Moro ethnic group.
The ancient people in Mainland
Mindanao were called Iranun, also
spelled Iranon, of the coastal area of
Illana Bay (Ilian in
Maranao) and Iranaon (the people in Bembaran/
Kiaranda a Ragata Tiongcopa Layagen, in local language).
Volcanic activity developed a flat land surface little-by-little.
Modern science describes this process as sedimentary formation and
residual remains that forms the low and flat land surface in the
coastal areas. This land is rich and suitable for agriculture. The
Maranao vernacular called it “ira” which means "remains".
Thus, the name of the people in the coastal area of
Illana Bay is
another portmanteau of “ira” plus “ranao” or people living in
the remains in the coastal areas.
In present days, the Maranao use the word to refer to “tao sa
ragat”, the people of Lanao who migrated to sea area while the
Maranaos are people who stayed around the lake. They share lineages,
culture, bravery, (i.g.Gandamatu sa Ranau a Tombaga sa Macadar,wadiya
lantay decritan potaw dipagotngan,phagrom sa kinikhid, khansa
batobarani) and history. They are called Maranao as a general term.
A food jar (gadur) made of brass with silver inlay.
Maranao culture can be characterized by:
Sarimanok (Papanoka Mra and Mara-patik)
Torogan, the highest form of a Maranao royal house, where the
architecture used is the most aesthetic in the Philippines
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
Kirim, pre-Hispanic handwriting based from
Arabic letters with 19
consonants and 7 vowels.
Singkil, a Philippine dance
Okir on wooden artifacts and brasswares
Capmorod and Cackhalilang with Sambolayang and Pasandalan a Morog and
Marigay for Kazipasa Manggis.
Caplagood (Racing horse)
The culture of the Maranaos is centered on Lake Lanao, the largest in
Mindanao, and the second-largest and deepest lake in the Philippines.
This lake is the subject of various myths and legends. It supports a
major fishery, and powers the hydroelectric plant installed on it; the
Agus River system generates 70% of the electricity used by the people
of Mindanao. A commanding view of the lake is offered by Marawi City,
the provincial capital.
Main article: Maranao language
Maranao is an
Austronesian language spoken by the
Maranao people in
the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. Because of the
mass influx of Cebuano migrants to Mindanao, many Maranaos are also
fluent in Cebuano.
Arabic, a Central Semitic language, is spoken by a minority of the
Moro people, as it is the liturgical language of Islam. Most Maranaos,
however, do not know
Arabic beyond its religious use.
Chavacano (sometimes spelled as Chabacano or Chabakano) is a
Philippine Spanish Creole that gained popularity as a major language
during the short-lived Republic of Zamboanga. Most Maranaos with
part-Tausug or Yakan from Zamboanga and Basilan are conversant,
specifically the Zamboanga dialect known as Zamboangueño.
Sarimanok or (Papanoka Mra) is a legendary birds of the Maranao that
has become a ubiquitous symbol of their art
Sarimanok, Papanoka "Mra" or "Mara patik" is a legendary bird of the
Maranao that is a ubiquitous symbol of their art. It is depicted as a
Hoodhud (Arabic) with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a
fish on its beak or talons. The head of
Sarimanok is like the head of
Hoopoe (Balalatoc in maranaw) and is profusely decorated with
scroll, leaf and spiral motifs. It is a symbol of good fortune.
Main articles: Music of the
Philippines and Kulintang
Kulintang ensemble at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka.
Maranao kulintang music is a type of gong music. Sarunaayfis also
found among both
Muslim and non-
Muslim groups of the Southern
Philippines. Kobbing is a Maranao instrument and Biyula is another
popular Instrument. Biyula is a string instrument. In 2005, the
Darangen Epic of the
Maranao people of
Lake Lanao was selected by
UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of
Maranao cuisine is quite spicy. Traditionally cultivated spices,
locally known as palapa (Bontang, native product in Gandamatu) are a
common condiment. It is made of stewed scallion bulbs or
“sakurab” in Maranao. Thinly sliced scallion bulbs and ginger are
caramelized by slow cooking and mixed with chilies and coconut
Dishes are intertwined with important cultural rituals across all
aspects of Maranao culture: from birth to death.!
Traditionally, the Maranao society is divided into two strata. Namely,
Mapiyatao (Pure) and Kasilidan (Mixed blood). Kasilidan is further
subdivided into categorlies which are as follows; Sarowang
(Non-Maranao), Balbal (Beast), Dagamot (Sorcerer/Sorceress) and Bisaya
(Slave). The Mapiyatao are those natives who are entitled to ascend to
thrones and has a pure royal bloodline. On the other hand, the
Kasilidan are those natives who are suspected of mixed bloodline.
However, due to the changes brought by time, these social strata are
beginning to decline due to the rise of wealth of each and every
Maranao people are shown in chocolate brown in this map.
Maranaos number about 1,142,000. Along with the Illanun and
Maguindanao, the Maranao are one of three, related, indigenous groups
native to Mindanao. These groups share genes, linguistic and cultural
ties to non-
Lumad groups such as the Tiruray or Subanon.
Maranao royals have varied infusions of Arab, Indian, Malay, Javanese
and Chinese ancestry.
Confederation of sultanates in Lanao
Confederation of sultanates in Lanao and Sultanate of
As with other Indigenous and
Mindanao Lumads, during the nominal
occupation of the
Philippines by the Spanish, and later the American
and the Japanese, the Maranaos had tribal leaders whom they called
Datu. In the 14th century, upon the arrival of Islam, they developed
into a kingdom with a
Sultan due to the influence of Muslim
Notes and references
^ Admin. "About Us". FEMAS. Archived from the original on April 18,
2011. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
^  Archived October 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Admin (2006-10-09). "About Maranaos". Maranao Online. Archived from
the original on 2010-04-26. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
Muslim Rulers and Rebels (Chapter 2 People and Territory in
Cotabato)". University of California Press. Retrieved March 19,
^ "Welcome". Learn Maranao Language Website. Retrieved October 21,
Philippines Art and Culture. Retrieved October 21,
2010. [permanent dead link]
^ Madale, Nagasura T. (2010-02-07). "Recipe in the Life of the Maranao
By: Nagasura T. Madale, PhD. -Part 2". Kalopindo. Aratawata Website.
Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 22,
^ Umagang Kay Ganda (2013-07-09). "Recipe: Maranao dish Chicken
ABS-CBN Website. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
^ Rosauro, Ryan (2010-10-17). "Munai spice may be way out of war for
conflict areas". Inquirer Website. Archived from the original on
October 23, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
^ Madale, Nagasura T. (2010-02-06). "Recipe in the Life of the Maranao
By: Nagasura T. Madale, PhD. -Part 1". Kalopindo. Aratawata Website.
Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 21,
Ranao, Ranao (Lake) terms for Lanao del Sur.
The Moro Bangsamoro