The Mamanwa Culture

Conking, Mamaw, Amamanusa, Manmanua, Mamaua, MamanwaThe Mamanwa (variously called Conking, Mamaw, Amamanusa, Manmanua, Mamaua, Mamanwa) are one of the three groups that occupy a very distinct position in Philippine populations. Heretofore, the Mamanwa has been classified as a Negrito subgroup, but physical anthropological data indicate otherwise. The Mamanwa form a distinct branch from the rest of the Philippine populations which include the various groups of the Negrito, and the Austronesian-speaking peoples which now comprise the modern populations. The Mamanwa appear to be an older branch of population appearances in the Philippines affecting to some extent the Negrito of northeastern Luzon. Like all the Negrito groups in the country, the Mamanwa speak a language that is basically that of the dominant group about them. Continue reading

The Batak Culture

BatakThe Batak (Batac, Tinitianes) are one of the subgroups of the Philippine Negrito who are genetically associated with the Negrito of west central Luzon, i.e., the Pinatubo Ayta. The Batak live in the forests of northern Palawan in the western Philippines. They depend on a varied mix of cultivation, hunting, gathering and fishing. The Batak of the Philippines are a ‘negrito’ people, not to be confused with the Batek, a hunter-gatherer people of peninsular Malaysia, or the populous and ethnically diverse Indonesian Batak of northern Sumatra. Like the classic Negrito, the Batak are food gatherers, hunters, and quasi-swidden cultivators. They are distributed in the northeastern mountains of Palawan from the Babuyan river in the south, to Malcampo in the north. Continue reading

The Negrito Culture

NegritoLike the Manobo, the Negrito groups of the Philippines constitute one of the most complex populations in terms of dispersal. There are two major branches which made their appearance in the Philippine archipelago between 30,000 to 20,000 years ago: one moving on the eastern flank of the Philippines going up to the north to the Pacific side of the Sierra Madre Mountains constituting the Alta, Arta, and Agta groups; the second branch moved along the western side, similarly going up northern Luzon which now includes the Pinatubo Negrito. Other corresponding major subgroupings are the Dumagat, Ata, Ati, Atta, Sinauna, and Batak. The people are characterized by shortness of stature, darkness of pigmentation, and kinky hair. All of the Negrito groups speak languages that are dialects of the major adjacent peoples. Continue reading