The Bukidnon Culture

BukidnonThe Bukidnon (Magahat, Karolano, Mangahat, Buquitnon) of Negros Oriental are different from the group of a similar name found in Mindanao which is of Manobo affinity. There are two apparent subgroupings of the Negros Bukidnon: the (1) Magahat who live along the tributaries of upper Tayaban, in the municipalities of Tanjay, Santa Catalina, Bayawan (Tolong), and Siaton; and the (2) Karol-ano in the municipality of Kabankalan. The group is dispersed in the different barangays of the municipality, principally in Kamansi, Oringao, Kabagayan, Manapla, Lumbangan, Mabuhay, and Tayasan.

The Bukidnon are shifting cultivators of the uplands in the interior of the island. Their subsistence is mixed with food gathering. There is little substantial ethnography on this group. They are not sedentary but they maintain trade relationships with the lowland communities. The group was first mentioned in 1894 in a report pointing out the existence of some 8,000 infieles in the interior; and then again later in an account of the massacre of an upland community in the implementation of the policy of reduccion. The Bukidnon since then have undergone acculturation while maintaining an upland adaptation.

The culture is generalized Visayan adapted to dry agricultural regimes up to elevations of 3,000 feet, planted to a wide range of cultigens with emphasis on rice. There is a similarity in culture with the Sulod of Panay. The language is related to both Sugbuhanon and Hiligaynon.

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