Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao

  • Oona Paredes

Abstract

This article explores the relevance of water in the cultural traditions of indigenous Lumad peoples of Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. Historically, Lumad identities and networks (whether political, social, or economic) were conceptualised according to the rivers on which people dwelt. Important ties stretched from the coast to the interior (i.e., between upriver and downriver communities), with water providing the path of least resistance in rough terrain. This stands in contrast to the present-day cultural and political divide between the uplands and lowlands, which are now dominated by mainstream ‘Filipino’ settlers, referred to locally as dumagat or ‘sea-people’. Given that Lumad ties to the land are profoundly visualised according to rivers, the salt-water origins of dumagats locate these interlopers at, or more often, beyond the moral boundaries of the Lumad universe. Meanwhile, in Lumad oral traditions, the movements of people across one generation to the next are traced according to river systems they have occupied, with proximity to water often equated with degree of civilization and cultural purity. Despite the passage of time, and decreased linear proximity from the original rivers, these primal riverine origins remain significant in the present day, as Lumads continue to socially prioritise the genealogies and networks of traditional political authority that are upstreamed from these oral traditions. Focusing on field data from the Higaunon ethnic group of northern Mindanao, this article analyses five examples of water being employed as a hermeneutic for how Lumads locate themselves in relation to other ethnic groups, the state, modern Filipino society, and their own cultural traditions.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Beckwith, Martha. 1970. Hawaiian Mythology. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press.
Biernatzki, William S.J. 1973. Bukidnon datuship in the upper Pulangi river valley. In de Guzman, A. II and Pacheco, E. (eds.), Bukidnon Politics and Religion, pp.1550. Quezon City, RP: Ateneo de Manila University IPC Papers 11.
Biernatzki, William S.J. 1978. Kalabugao Community Study. Unpublished field notes.
Dang Nghiem, Van. 1993. The flood myth and the origin of ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. The Journal of American Folklore 106 (No. 421), 304337.
Demetrio, Francisco. 1990. Myths and Symbols, Philippines, rev. ed. Manila: Navotas Press and National Bookstore.
van Esterik, Penny. 1984. Continuities and transformations in Southeast Asian symbolism: a case study from Thailand. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 140(1), 7791.
Hastrup, Kirsten. 2013. Water and the configuration of social worlds: an anthropological perspective. Journal of Water Resource and Protection 5, 5966.
Helmreich, Stefan. 2011. Nature/culture/seawater. American Anthropologist 113(1), 132144.
Kiefer, Thomas. 1986. The Tausug: Violence and Law in a Philippine Moslem Society. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press.
Linton, Jamie and Budds, Jessica. 2014. The hydrosocial cycle: defining and mobilizing a relational-dialectical approach to water. Geoforum 57, 170180.
Maquiso, Elena. 1977. Ulahingan, An Epic of the Southern Philippines. Dumaguete, RP: Silliman University Press, Ulahingan Series 1.
Maquiso, Elena. 1990. Ulahingan, An Epic of the Southern Philippines: The Adventures of Impehimbang and Nebeyew; Begyasan's Visit to Insibey. Dumaguete, RP: Silliman University Press, Ulahingan Series 2.
McKenna, Thomas. 1998. Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Opeña, Ludivina. 1979. Olaging: the battle of Nalandangan. Kinaadman 1(1), 151227.
Palmer, Lisa. 2015. Water Politics and Spiritual Ecology: Custom, Environmental Governance and Development. Oxford: Routledge.
Paredes, Oona. 1997a. People of the Hinterland: Higaûnon Life in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Arizona State University.
Paredes, Oona. 1997b. Higaunon resistance and ethnic politics in northern Mindanao. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 8(3), 270290.
Paredes, Oona. 2006. True believers: Higaunon and Manobo protestant conversion in historical and anthropological perspective. Philippine Studies 54(4), 521559.
Paredes, Oona. 2013. A Mountain of Difference: The Lumad in Early Colonial Mindanao. Ithaca: Cornell SEAP Publications.
Proschan, Frank. 2001. Peoples of the gourd: imagined ethnicities in highland Southeast Asia. The Journal of Asian Studies 60(4), 9991032.
Seamon, David. (2015 – forthcoming). Understanding place holistically: cities, synergistic relationality, and space syntax. Journal of Space Syntax 6(1).
Schärer, Hans. 1963. Ngaju Religion: The Conception of God among a South Borneo People. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
Sproul, Barbara. 1991. Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World. New York: HarperCollins.
Unabia, Carmen Ching. 1985. Gugud: a Bukidnon oral tradition. Asian Folklore Studies 44, 205229.
Unabia, Carmen Ching. 1993. Bukidnon flood myth. In Eugenio, Damiana (ed.), Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths, pp. 241242. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Waterson, Roxana. 2009. Paths and Rivers: Sa'dan Toraja Society in Transformation. Singapore: KITLV Press/NUS Press.
Wrigglesworth, Hazel (ed.). 1991. The Maiden of Many Nations: The Skymaiden Who Married a Man from Earth. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.
Yumo, Dionisio. 1988. Power politics of the southern Agusan Manobo. Mindanao Journal 15, 347.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia
  • ISSN: 2051-364X
  • EISSN: 2051-3658
  • URL: /core/journals/trans-trans-regional-and-national-studies-of-southeast-asia
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed