Mag-Anchi Aytas

Tarlac ProvinceThe Aytas are called Negritos for their dark skin and kinky hair. They landed on the archipelago more than 30,000 thousand years ago and are thought to be the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines. The Negritos share some physical features with African pygmy populations.

Nowadays, rare is the Ayta wearing traditional clothing: the bahag (loincloth) for men and wraparound skirts for women. They now use urban attire. Ayta women are skilled in weaving, plaiting, and producing household containers, rattan hammocks, and winnowing baskets of excellent quality. Nomadic Ayta build temporary settlements made of indigenous materials, such as forked sticks, palm or banana leaves, cogon, and bamboo.

Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga are home to the Mag-Anchi Aytas, although most reside in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac; San Marcelino and Castillejos, Zambales; and Mabalacat, Sapang Bato, and Angeles City, Pampanga. Mag-Anchi is a Sambalic language, and is part of the Central Luzon language family.

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