The Kamayo Culture

KamayoThe Kamayo are concentrated in Bislig City, Lianga, Marihatag, and San Agustin in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao. A scattered population is also found in Cateel and Baganga, Davao Oriental. Kamayo is related linguistically to the Tausug and Butuanon, and belongs to the Meso and central Philippine family of languages. However, the people speak dialects that vary from town to town. Meanwhile, some municipalities such as Lingig, Bislig, Barobo, and Hinatuan are using a different version of the language: A prefix is attached to most adjectives. The disparities of the dialects are due to the interchange of communication between the Kamayo settlers and the native Manobo. The group is concentrated in the provinces of Agusan del Norte (6,500) and Surigao del Sur (115,850). The population estimate at present is placed at 122,350 (NM 1994).

Like most of the groups in the eastern coast of Mindanao, the Kamayo cultivate wet rice in the flat land along the coast and nearby valleys while upland fields are planted to a variety of crops including cash crops of abaca.