In celebration of Buwan ng Wika this August, the National Museum of the Philippines launched the free electronic book Lumad Mindanao that is dedicated to the indigenous group in Southern Philippines. The book aims to narrate the Lumad tribe’s place and importance in Filipino society.
The Lumad tribes of Mindanao have been struggling for many years now. In addition to that, there have been alleged human rights violations since the imposition of Martial Law in the region, the mining operations in their ancestral lands, and the red-tagging of the government which led to the closure of 55 Lumad schools in 2019.
“We hope that this publication will help narrow gaps in accounts written about them and understand their present situation by providing accessible and updated reference material,” the National Museum said. (Read: Catriona Gray Is the New Ambassador for Indigenous Handicrafts)
The term Lumad is a Visayan word which means “born from the earth.” It was first used in 1986 during a political assembly to discuss issues that concern their cultural determination within their ancestral lands. (Read: Get to know this local café that has indigenous farmers as its business partners)
Studies have noted that around 20 to 40 ethnolinguistic groups belong under this category. Out of these, there are roughly 19 major Lumad groups that have been identified: Ata, B’laan, Bagobo, Banwaon, Bukidnon, Dibabawon, Higaonon, Mamanwa, Mandaya, Manguwangan, Mansaka, Manobo, Matigsalug, Obo, T’boli, Tagakaolo, Talaandig, Tiruray and Subanen/Subanun.
Bago! Birtual na paglulunsad ng libreng e-aklat "Lumad Mindanao" ngayong unang araw ng #BuwanNgWika2020. Ito rin ay…Posted by National Museum of the Philippines on Saturday, August 1, 2020
The e-book Lumad Mindanao is based on the permanent exhibition at the National Museum of Anthropology and features over 200 material culture from the National Ethnographic collection. (Read: This group of engineering students is literally bringing light to an indigenous community in Bulacan)
The collection is a comprehensive ethnolinguistic map and language tree of the Lumad and Bangsamoro groups. It contains different historic ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and linguistic sources—including some historic and contemporary photographs from the NMP archives, the Field Museum of Natural History, University of Michigan Digital Collections, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Southeast Asian Studies Image Collection.
The collection also contains the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Lumadnon. This includes a narrative on the history of Tasaday, and a catalog of the ethnographic, archaeological, herbaria, and zoological collections displayed at the Lumad Mindanao gallery.
You can download the book here.