Mangyan peoples


Mangyan peoples

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Mangyan indigenous people of Mindoro.

Mangyan is the generic name for the eight indigenous groups found in the Philippine island of Mindoro, each with its own tribal name, language, and customs. The total population may be around 100,000, but no official statistics are available because of the difficulties of counting remote and reclusive tribal groups, many of which have no contact with the outside world.

The ethnic groups from north to south of the island are: Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Tawbuid (called Batangan by lowlanders on the west of the island), Buhid, Hanunoo. An additional group on the south coast is labelled Ratagnon. They appear to be intermarried with lowlanders. The group known on the east of Mindoro as Bangon may be a subgroup of Tawbuid, as they speak the 'western' dialect of that language. They also have an alphabet which is called the Ambahan.

Mangyan are mainly subsistence agriculturalists, planting a variety of sweet potato, upland (dry cultivation) rice, and taro. They also trap small animals and wild pig. Many who live in close contact with lowland Filipinos sell cash crops such as bananas and ginger.

Their languages are mutually unintelligible, though they share some vocabulary. Tawbuid and Buhid are closely related, and are unusual among Philippine languages in having an /f/ phoneme. Tawbuid is divided into eastern and western dialects. Western Tawbuid may be the only Philippine language to have no glottal phonemes, having neither /h/ or /ʔ/. They use Hanunó'o script to write.

Their traditional religious world view is animistic. Around 10% have embraced Christianity, both Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism. New Testaments have been published in six of the languages.

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