Who are the “Lumads” of the Philippines?

Did you know that Lumads are not Muslims?

According to Wikipedia, the Lumads are a group of non-Muslim indigenous people in the southern Philippines. It is a Cebuano term meaning “native” or “indigenous”. The term is short for Katawhang Lumad (Literally: “indigenous people”), the autonym officially adopted by the delegates of the Lumad Mindanao Peoples Federation (LMPF) founding assembly on 26 June 1986 at the Guadalupe Formation Centre, Balindog, Kidapawan, Cotabato, Philippines. It is the self-ascription and collective identity of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.

The Lumads are the non-Islamic and non-Christian Austronesian peoples of Mindanao. They include groups like the Erumanen ne Menuvu’, Matidsalug Manobo, Agusanon Manobo, Dulangan Manobo, Dabaw Manobo, Ata Manobo, B’laan, Kaulo, Banwaon, Bukidnon, Teduray, Lambangian, Higaunon, Dibabawon, Mangguwangan, Mansaka, Mandaya, K’lagan, Subanen, Tasaday, T’boli, Mamanuwa, Tagakaolo, Talaandig, Tagabawa, Ubu’, Tinenanen, Kuwemanen, K’lata and Diyangan. Considered as “vulnerable groups”, they live in hinterlands, forests, lowlands and coastal areas.

The term lumad excludes the Butuanons and Surigaonons, even though these two groups are also native to Mindanao. This is due to their Visayan ethnicity and lack of close affinity with the Lumad.

The Moros like the Maranao, Tausug, Sama-Bajau, Yakan, etc. are also excluded, despite being also native to Mindanao and despite some groups being closely related ethnolinguistically to the Lumad. This is because unlike the Lumad, the Moros converted to Islam during the 14th to 15th centuries. This can be confusing since the word lumad literally means “native” in the Visayan languages. (Source: Wikipedia)

Al Jazeera reports that Lumad is what the indigenous peoples from the southern Philippines call themselves. They are considered to be the original inhabitants of the island of Mindanao.

Insurgency fuelled by poverty

Mindanao, a land rich in natural resources, has a long history of insurgency, fuelled by poverty, military abuses, and the displacement of tribal communities by logging and mining companies.

Various religious groups have condemned the killings and called for an impartial and independent investigation of the incident after the hashtag#StopLumadKillings went viral on social media. The Philippine military, however, denied the accusations and said the ongoing tribal war in the Lumad communities is the reason for the killings.

Updated: 05/28/2018 — 06:37:36
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