The Manbos of Mindano - Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir
by John M. Garvan
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[29] These letters are called Cartas de los PP. de la Compaa de Jess de la mision de Filipinas, and were printed consecutively in Manila from 1876 to 1902 and probably later.

[30] A rancheria is a small dependent settlement of Christianized people.


In the Agsan Valley the first efforts of the missionaries were directed to the Bisyas or old Christians, as they are called, of Butun, Talakgon, Verula, and Bunwan. Father Bove[31] in 1877 writes that he reunited many Bisyas of Hbung and Bunwan in Talakgon, which is at present one of the few municipalities in the sub-Province of Butun. He notes the extent of the slave trade between Manbos and Bisyas, and that he made a preliminary trip to the upper Agsan and to the upper Slug. In the same year Peruga visited Bunwan and organized the church among the Bisyas of Bunwan who had not been annexed to Talakgon. In the meantime Urios and others rounded up the stragglers of Butun, Tolosa (now Kabarbarn), and Manit.

[31] Cartas de los PP. de la Compaa de Jess, 3.


In 1879 Urios reports the establishment of Las Nieves, Remedies, Esperanza, Guadalupe, Masam (now Santa Ines), and San Luis, all of which rancherias of conquistas[32] or Christianized Manbos are still in existence.

[32] Conquista is a Spanish word meaning conquest. It is of universal use in the Agsan Valley to denote a recently Christianized member of a non-Christian tribe.

In the same year Luengo, who was in charge of the Bisya settlement of Talakgon, succeeded in settling the Manbos to the south of Talakgon in the town of Martines. These Manbos were for the most part from the Rivers Pudlsan, Lbnig, and Anilwan. He comments on the ignorance of the Talakgon Bisyas who came, he asserts, from the Rivers Sulibo and Hbung, and from the district west of Mount Magdiuta.

The same year Pastells converted 771 Manbos of the Simlao River. He then visited the upper Agsan, and negotiated with the pagans of that district—a conglomerate group of Mandyas, Maggugans, Manbos, and Debabons—for the foundation of Compostela and Gandia. He founded Moncayo, and Jativa (pronounced Hativa), with Debabon and Manbo converts, respectively.

Urios took up the work of Pastells on the River Simlao and baptized 1,000 Manbos, whom he induced to found the town of Tudela. He then pursued his work among the Manbos to the south of Verula and founded the town of Patrocinio. He reports that for some trifling reason the town was moved not long after. From 1905 to 1909 I know that the site of the town was changed five times.

La Concepcion,[33] near Nasipit, San Vicente, San Ignacio, and Tortosa were founded the same year. Urios remarks that the class of people that he induced to settle in the last-mentioned town were half-Negrito. The present inhabitants are known as Manbos but a casual glance will convince one of their Negrito derivation.

[33] This rancheria is not in existence.

During the same year Urios founded Loreto on the Umaam River, and succeeded in getting the Manbos of San Rafael to settle in Tbai. This is interesting as the inhabitants of Tbai pass for Bisyas at the present day.


From 1881 to 1883 we find continuous reports of the armed opposition of all the unconverted peoples to the adoption of Christianity, so much so that troops had to be stationed in Esperanza and Talakgon. Guadalupe and Amparo were abandoned, the ostensible reason being fear of Doctor Montano who was taking anthropometrical measurements of Manbos in the towns through which he passed, but as Urios remarks, this was only a pretext for withdrawing from a form of life that did not suit them. Guadalupe was burned by the pagans shortly after its abandonment. Several new towns had been formed, namely, Masao, Bugbus, hut, Los Remedies, and Hauilin, but the opposition of the still un-Christianized people increased, and, as a result, all the newly formed towns on the lower and middle Agsan, except La Paz, Loreto, and the Simlao towns, were abandoned. One reason assigned for this was the fear entertained by the inhabitants that revenge might be taken on them for the murder of certain Butun Bisyas who had been killed by the conquistas of Esperanza. However, there is little doubt but that the real reason for the abandonment was the fear on the part of the newly Christianized people toward their mountain congeners and relatives, for it must be borne in mind that the newly Christianized people were the tools used by the missionaries to reach the pagans. These conquistas were prevailed upon to act as intermediaries, interpreters, guides, carriers, and soldiers. It is obvious that their cooperation with the missionaries, especially in armed expeditions, brought upon them the enmity of the pagan peoples whom the missionaries intended to convert, sometimes nolens volens. To avoid the ill feeling of the pagans and the results that would follow as a consequence, the conquistas preferred to flee and join the pagans, or at least to maintain a neutral attitude.


The desertion of all the towns on the lower Agsan meant the return of some 5,000 conquistas to their original manner of life, for at this period the total number of converts in the valley was 11,000.[34] The upper Agsan had 1,500, La Paz, 1,000, and the Simlao district, 2,000.

[34] Ibid., 5: 71.

On the upper Agsan affairs followed the same trend. The Mandyas of the Kati'il River killed 180 on the Hlip River. Jativa and Bal were attacked by Mandyas, the latter place being abandoned immediately. Babo, "the river of bagni,"[35] continued to keep Patrocinio, Bai, and Gracia on the alert.

[35] A bagni is a Mandya, Maggugan, Debabon, or Manbo warrior who has a certain number of deaths to his account and who gives evidence of being under the influence of war deities.

Notwithstanding these vicissitudes, the missionaries succeeded in establishing Pilar, a Maggugan town, on the Mnat. It is described as being made up of the most ignorant and depraved people on the upper Agsan. In the same year (1883) Gracia was founded between Patrocinio and Jativa. This town is not now in existence, and I am unable to state just where its location was, unless it may have been near the present site of Langkilan. On the lower Agsan, Gngub, or Nuevo Guadalupe, and Tortosa on the Kabarbarn River were formed. Neither of them is in existence at the present day.

The missionaries, not yet being able to reunite the Manbos, directed their activities to the conversion of Mamnuas. Hence in 1883 we read that the Mamnua settlements of Santa Ana, San Roque, San Pablo, Santiago, and Tortosa were formed, the total number of converts being about 800. Most of these settlements are still in existence, though there are times when not a soul may be found in any of them.


In 1884 little is recorded. It was calculated that at this time there were still 6,000 unconverted pagans in the upper Agsan district. Jativa, which was the headquarters of the mission, and which had a population of 156 families, was attacked by Mandyas. On the lower Agsan matters were at a standstill, the conversion of 134 Mamnuas being the only important item that is recorded in the letters.


On the Pacific coast the labors of the missionaries had been confined to the Bisyas up to 1885, in which year Peruga converted the pagan Mandyas of Marihtag and Kagwit. He also ascended the Tgo River converted the pagan Mandyas of Alba, establishing at the same time a town of that name.

Guardiet worked among the Manbos to the west of Hinatu'an and baptized 217 in Ginhalnan near Javier (pronounced Havier). He made his way over to the Hbung River and founded Los Arcos with 80 converts.

There is no record of the work in 1885 among the Manbos of the lower Agsan except that Urios founded the town of San Ignacio near Butun. On the upper Agsan, however, things took a turn for the worse. Eighty families, or a little more than half of Jativa, abandoned the town. All the people of Gandia went out but were finally persuaded to return and associate themselves with the people of Compostela. The Maggugans of Clavijo (pronounced Claviho)[36] moved to Gandia. Not long afterwards Compostela, Gandia, and Jativa were abandoned, the town of Compostela having been burned on two separate occasions. The same year, however, they were re-formed.

[36] I can not state just where the town of Clavijo on the upper Agsan was located. Up to 1908 there was a town of the same name on the middle Agsan, near the mouth of the Ihawn River, but it consisted entirely of Christianized Manbos, and not of Maggugans such as are stated by my authority to have been the people of Clavijo on the upper Agsan.


In 1886 Moncayo and Pilar were deserted and Jativa was attacked. On the lower Agsan affairs remained in status quo. The Mamnua settlements were increased by one which was located on the Dyag River, near Manit.

In the middle Agsan, Gracia and Concepcion were founded on the Ihawn River.

It is interesting to note that the total number of converts in the Agsan Valley from 1877 to 1886 is put down at 17,840 souls, living in 42 towns.[37]

[37] Ibid., 11, appendix.


In 1887 it became necessary to increase the number of troops in Jativa, owing to the flight of the inhabitants of Moncayo, Compostela, and Gandia. As a consequence of this move, these towns re-formed. San Isidro was abandoned this same year.


On the lower Agsan the missionaries, notably Urios, continued their labors and succeeded in gaining over to Christianity many of the Banuon people of the upper hut and Libang Rivers. The year 1887-88 seems to have been one of comparative peace except in the district to the west of La Paz, on the Argwan River, where it became necessary to make use of armed troops.


In 1889 cholera got into the Agsan Valley. The inhabitants of Tortosa abandoned their town. On the Pacific coast Puntas penetrated among the Manbos of the Tgo River above the town of Alba, and Alaix visited the Mamnuas of Kantlan and Lanusa, among whom he made 84 converts. In the same year Peruga made more Mandya converts in Alba on the Tgo River.


In 1890 Moncayo and Gandia had a feud, as a result of which the people of the former abandoned their town. Matters progressed so favorably on the Argwan that Sagunto was pacified and Asuncion was founded farther up on the same river. This town is no longer in existence, but a small rancheria called Tilyrpan was founded in 1906 nearer to Sagunto. Bsa on the Kasilaan River and San Isidro on the Bahaan River were founded the same year, but, on the other hand, an outbreak of fever led to the abandonment of Gracia and Concepcion on the Ihawn. Many Mamnua and Mandya converts were added to Los Arcos. The conversion of these is attributed to the fighting that had previously taken place in Las Navas and Borbon, on the same river. Milagros on the hut was founded this same year.


The year 1891 does not show any further special development except the foundation of a Banuon settlement, called Concordia, on the Lbang River.

In 1892 Vigo and Borja (pronounced Borha) on the Babo River were established. Manbos of the Sibgat River were converted and a settlement was founded at its juncture with the W-wa. This settlement is now called Pait. San Miguel on the Tgo River was founded with 25 families, most of whom were Manbos. This town is no longer in existence. Amparo, on the other hand, was abandoned, and my authority for this statement remarks that this was the seventh time since its foundation that the town had been abandoned. Other towns had passed through the same experience, though not so many times.


In 1893 Misericordia, now no longer in existence, was reestablished on the Bugbus River. San Estanislao, at the mouth of the Labo River, was founded this year. It is not in existence under this name. Santa Fe is the present name and the settlement occupies a new site, selected in 1908, I think.

On the Tgo River the conversion of the Mandyas was completed and more Manbos were added to the roll of Christians, thus bringing the number of Christianized Manbo families to 80.

In the Agsan Valley, Moncayo and Milagros were abandoned.


In 1894 Castellon was founded at the mouth of the Lngkilaan River. At the present day no such town is in existence, though near the old town site of Castellon there is a small rancheria called Lngkilaan.

During the same year Pilar, which up to this time had been on the Mnat, was transferred to the Agsan, between Gandia and Compostela. Another town is said to have been founded on the Mnat River. Gerona, between Moncayo and Gandia, Cuevas on the Bahaan, and Corinto on the Agsbo, a branch of the hut, were founded during this year, and San Isidro was re-formed.


I have been unable to peruse the letters of the missionaries from 1894 to the present day, but I was given to understand by well-informed Bisyas of Butun that at the time of the Philippine insurrection in 1898 the Christianized Manbos lived in a state of comparative tranquillity. During the time of the revolution few outbreaks are recorded, notwithstanding the fact that the missionaries had abandoned their upriver parishes and the Spanish troops had been withdrawn. From 1900 to 1905 affairs on the lower and middle Agsan, excepting along the upper Kasilaan, Argwan and Umaam, were very peaceful, a fact that was due to the enthusiasm with which the Christianized Manbos devoted themselves to the culture of abak and to the production of its fiber. On the upper Kasilaan, Argwan and Umaam, Ihawn, and Babo there occurred occasional killings and the country was always in a condition of alarm.

On the upper Agsan, especially in the region of Compostela, the old feuds broke out and it became necessary for the government of the Moro Province to station troops at Compostela.[38]

[38] Upon my arrival in the Agsan Valley in 1905 I found the following rancherias in existence:

On the main river, Butun (a Bisya settlement), San Vincente, Amparo, San Mateo, Las Nieves, Esperanza, Guadalupe, Santa Ines, San Luis, Martines, Clavijo, San Pedro, Verula (a Bisya settlement), Patrocinio, Langkilan, Hagimtan, Tagusb, Bai, Moncayo, Gerona, Gandia, Pilar, Compostela, and Taga-nud.

On the hut River, Milagros and Remedies.

On the W-wa River, Vrdu.

On the Lbang River, Concordia.

On the Kasilaan River, Basa.

On the Hbung River, Borbon, Ebro, Prosperidad, Azpeitia, and Los Arcos.

On the Slibao River (tributary of the Hbung), Novele and Rosario.

On the Argwan River, La Paz and Sagunto.

On the Umaam River, Loreto, Kandaugong.

On the Simlao River, San Jose, Bunwan (a Bisya settlement), Libertad, Basa, Tudela, and San Isidro.

On the Nbuk River, Dugmnon.

From 1905 to 1910 the following towns were formed:

Santa Fe, at the mouth of the Labo River.

Pait on the W-wa, at the mouth of the Sibagat River.

Nuevo Trabajo (pronounced Trabaho), a few hours up the Masam River.

Ba'ba', on the Hbung River between Prosperidad and Azpeitia. Tilierpan and Kamta, above Sagunto on the Argwan.

Violanta, Santo Tomas, and Wlo, on the upper Umaam.

Maitum, on the river of the same name, which is a tributary of the Hbung River.

Mamballi, below Bunwan on the Simlao River.

Comparing the towns in existence at the beginning of 1910 with those whose establishment is reported in the Jesuit letters we find that the following towns have ceased to exist:

Tolosa, some few hours up the Kabarbarn River.

Tortosa, on a river to the west of the present Masao.

San Ignacio, a little to the south of Butun.

Concepcion, near the town of Naspit.

San Rafael (I do not know the location of this town, but I am under the impression that it was located near Tbai).

Nuevo Guadalupe, near the present Guadalupe.

Misericordia, about 12 miles up the Bugbus River.

Hauwilin, at the mouth of the Hauwilin River.

San Estanislao, at the mouth of the Labu River.

Patai, between Martires and Borbon.

Basa, on the Kasiligan River.

Las Navas, on the Hbung.

Asuncion, on the Argwan River.

Clavijo, on the Agsan near the mouth of the Ihawn River,

Gracia and Concepcion, on the Ihawn River.

Bigo and Borja, on the Babo River.

Castellon, Gracia, Clavijo, and Jativa, on the upper Agsan

San Miguel, on the Tgo River (Pacific coast).

The number of converts from the pagan peoples in the Agsan Valley up to 1898 must have reached 25,000, divided as follows: Mamnuas, 1,000; Banuons and the branch of Manbos occupying the northeastern part of the valley, 3,000; Mandyas, 2,000; Maggugans, 1,000; Debabons, 1,000; Manbos, 17,000. These came finally to live in some 50 towns, including the unstable settlements of Mamnuas. From 1898 until the present time the conversion of pagans in the Agsan Valley has been insignificant.


The methods adopted by the missionaries in the conversion of the pagans in Mindano are made clear in a report by Father Juan Ricart, S. J., to the Governor General of the Philippine Islands.[39] The following extracts are pertinent:

[39] Ibid., 11, appendix.

The first thing that the missionaries seek to attain before penetrating the territory occupied by these pagans is a knowledge of the various races or tribes dwelling therein, of their customs and superstitions, of their feuds and wars, who are their enemies and their allies, respectively, the names of the principal chiefs, their traits of character, and finally their particular dialect as far as it may be possible to acquire it. Then they dispatch selected and trustworthy emissaries, preferably inhabitants of the Christian towns who have commercial dealings with the pagans, bidding them announce the intended visit of the missionary. On the appointed day, the missionary, armed with meekness and condescension, presents himself, speaking to them with dignity and authority. He tells them that he is their friend, that he wishes them well, that he has known of such-and-such misfortunes that have befallen them, and that in pity he comes to succor them. He invokes the name of the king and of the governor of the district, whose power they had learned to fear and respect through their dealings with the Christians. He reminds them of some wrong that either they or their neighbors had committed on the Christians, for it is seldom that they are not guilty of some fault or other, and intimates to them that it is the intention of the governor to send soldiers to punish them for their conduct. He (the missionary), however, has interceded with the governor on their behalf and has received a promise from him that he will not only pardon their fault but that he will take them under his protection and defend them against their enemies. He (the missionary) goes on to explain the advantages of civilized life, and the mildness of Spanish rule, as far as their limited understanding can grasp. He undoes their suspicions, forestalls their misgivings, and overcomes their fears; and by means of presents and kind words, especially to the little ones, he strives to soften their hearts. These interviews and lengthy discussions are repeated as often as it is opportune or necessary, every effort being made in the meanwhile to convince and gain over the chiefs and elders, a result that will be attained all the more quickly if he succeeds in settling their differences, in bringing about peace with some more redoubtable enemy, or in helping them in the attainment of any proper object that they may have in view. All this does not take place without great long-suffering and bitterness on the part of the missionary. Having decided on a site that is to their own liking and even according to their superstitions, though sometimes it be not best adapted for the purpose, a day is selected for the clearing, a plaza[40] and streets are plotted out, and then the erection of the tribunal and of the private dwellings begins.

[40] A public square.

It is at this period that the constancy and firmness of the missionary is taxed, for he has to overcome the unspeakable sluggishness of the uncivilized people, and to defeat the futile and continuous pretexts that they invent for the purpose of desisting from the work and of returning to the obscurity of the forest. It is helpful to be able to provide sufficient alimentation for them for a few days at least, so that it will not be necessary for them to return to the mountains in search of food. At the same time it is expedient to give them little rewards to induce them to begin their plantations near the new town by planting camotes and other crops which yield quickly.

The appointment of officers for the government of the settlement is the next step and must be conducted in a most solemn manner, it being sometimes necessary to increase the number of jobs in order to satisfy the ambition of the chiefs and of the elders. The chosen ones are presented with the official staff of command in the name of the governor, and with the traditional jacket. Thus the new town is established. It is placed under the rule and guardianship of the Gobernadorcillo[41] of the nearest Christian town, for the purpose of bringing about compliance with the orders that emanate from the chief of the province.

[41] This means in Spanish "little governor," and was the name given to the chief executive of a municipality in Spanish days. It corresponds to "mayor" at the present time.

The missionary maintains his power and influence through an inspector, who is usually a person of trust and worth among the older Christians, and through two teachers, preferably a married couple selected from among the best families. These then take up their residence in the new town and begin their teaching.

As soon as the new settlement gives evidence of stability and perseverance, an effort is made to have the governor of the district visit it in order that the newly converted Christians may lay aside their fear, gain new courage, and learn to become devoted to the government.

The presence of an armed force upon suitable occasions is also calculated to have some effect at this early period, as it serves to keep quiet the dissatisfied and grumbling ones, of whom there are always some, as well as to infuse a feeling of fear into outside enemies who might be inclined to trouble the settlement, either because they do not regard it in an auspicious light or because they wish to satisfy a desire for revenge which they have harbored for a long time. Up to this time these unhappy people (the pagans) have had no other law than the caprice of their chiefs, nor other justice than oppression by the strong, nor other customs than an amorphous mass of practices that are at once repulsive and opposed to the natural law. Their guides and their teachers have been augurs or visionary women who, in connivance with the chief, sometimes make them abandon the territory in which they live for fear of some invisible deity, sometimes make them launch themselves on neighboring peolpe[sic] in order to avenge some supposed grievance, or sometimes induce them to sacrifice a slave to appease the anger of their gods. While such influences are paramount, there can be no firmness nor possible security for the new settlement; on the day least expected it will be found deserted and even burned. On the other hand, it becomes necessary to give these people, recently denizens of the forest, a simple code that contains the principal duties of man, that sets forth the relation of one to another, that teaches subjects to obey their superiors, the strong to protect the weak, and parents to teach their children, and that enjoins upon all work and mutual respect.

It is also necessary to satisfy the innate desire, if we may so speak, for a cult, that natural feeling for a religion which these people, like all others, have. It is necessary to substitute for their barbarous and inhuman practices others that may lift them up and revive their drooping and pusillanimous spirits. It is necessary that in the town there should be something to attract and to hold them with irresistible charm. In a word, the faith must be preached to them and they must be baptized; a religion and a church are necessary. Until a great part of the inhabitants of a new settlement have been baptized, until the feast of the patron saint and other religious ceremonies have been solemnly celebrated, it is useless to hope for the stability of the new town. The Catholic religion is a simple and powerful means for transforming those savages into good Spanish subjects; it is the mold wherein they leave their barbarous practices and shape themselves perfectly unto ours.

The missionaries do not speak of baptism nor of religion till they have gained the good will of the pagans, until they realize that they are being listened to willingly and that they (the pagans) put trust in their words. When they begin to like the Spaniards, and to hold in esteem their customs and ideas, then the missionaries gently insinuate themselves and begin to teach them the truths of our holy faith and to show them the observances and rites of our religion. At the beginning some sick person or other is baptized: afterwards, when there is some prospect of stability, the children, and finally the adults, provided that they have been instructed as much as their capacity and the circumstances permit. With this prudent procedure the missionary encounters no serious obstacle. His evangelic[sic] eloquence easily convinces those simple people of truths so much in harmony with human nature and of practices so much in accord with the good inclinations of mankind. The tendency that they still retain to maintain their ancient superstitions vanishes before the sway exerted by that superior man from whom they have received so many favors. The greatest difficulty for them consists in leaving the free life of the forest and in bringing themselves to live in a settlement with its attendant restrictions; this is especially true in the case of the chiefs and of such others as previously had exercised any authority. But having once adopted Christianity, baptism costs them nothing. Here and there one finds a chief who is opposed at the beginning to being baptized because he has several wives, but this condition, though it is not approved, is tolerated, provided he does not trouble the others nor disturb the settlement. But as a rule all become ashamed and repent, and end by yielding and by following the example of the rest. The grace of God is of transcendent power in these transformations. The savage, as long as he continues pagan, is governed in all his acts by ancient observances inspired by superstition and fanaticism. It is only when he has been baptized that he understands the necessity of a change of life and customs. Then he ceases to be Manbo or Mandya, in order to be a Christian; he relinquishes his pagan name and in the course of time can hardly be distinguished from the inhabitants of the ancient Christian towns. Even the Mamnuas, a group of Negritos usually considered to be recalcitrant, now live submissively and joyfully in their settlements.


I endeavored during my tours in the interior of eastern Mindano to ascertain definitely the secret of the success of the Spanish missionaries in inducing forest-loving people to leave their ancient homes and ways and adopt a life of dependence, political, economic, and religious, and I have arrived at the following conclusions, based on the information furnished me by the conquistas, both those who are still living under the effective control of the Government and those who have returned to their primitive haunts.

(1) In a great many regions the first factor of success is the personal equation. Some of the missionaries, notably Urios and Pastells, must have been men of wonderfully winning ways and of deep tact, if I am to believe my informants. In districts such as the upper Slug, where many of the Christianized Debabons had retired for many years, I was told stories of the wonderful condescension of Urios, and of his understanding of Debabon ways and customs. The pagans present on one occasion assured me that if Urios were to visit them, they would all be baptized. In other districts I heard other missionaries spoken of whose names were so garbled that I have been unable to identify them. In most of the districts there were kind inquiries for one or another of the missionaries and expressions of regret that they could not see them again.

(2) In other regions (upper Umaam, upper Argwan, and others) the chief means used were threats of extermination, and, in cases, armed expeditions were actually sent out to overcome opposition to the adoption of Christianity. I base this statement on the testimony of conquistas who asserted that they were acquainted with the facts, and who went into such minute details as to lead me to believe that they were telling the truth.

How far such action is due to irresponsible and overzealous officers leading these expeditions I am unable to say, but the impression given me by my informants invariably was that such expeditions were planned by the missionaries for the purpose of forcing Christianity upon the pagans. Bisyas were frequently in charge of native soldiers and for commercial reasons were interested in the conversion of the mountain people to Christianity, so that it would not be surprising if they took unauthorized measures to effect the Christianization of the pagans.

(3) The third factor of success was the distribution of presents and alms by the missionaries. Frequent mention is made of this throughout the Jesuit letters. It undoubtedly did a great deal toward attracting the pagan people and convincing them of the friendship, from their point of view, of the missionaries toward them. It has been my experience that with a people of this stamp one present has more persuasive force than ten thousand arguments. It opens the way to conviction more readily than kind words and condescending manner, as it puts the tribesmen under a feeling of obligation.

(4) The fourth factor was the general policy adopted by the missionaries of posing as mediators between the Government and the pagans. This, coupled with a previous general knowledge of the conditions of the country, and of the customs and language of the people, and accompanied by a dignified but condescending and genial manner, enabled the missionaries to ingratiate themselves at once into the favor of the people they were visiting.

(5) The next and last factor in the conversion of the pagan peoples was the religious character of the men who undertook it. Religion appeals strongly to all primitive people and especially to the peoples of eastern Mindano, in which, as will be seen in the fourth part of this monograph, there seems to occur periodically a religious movement that for the time being subverts the ancient religious beliefs. It is natural then, that the pomp and glitter of Catholic ceremonial appealed strongly to the Manbo. I can not say, from my observation, that he became a very devout worshiper in his new faith. In fact, I know that the average Christianized Manbo understands little, and practices less, of the Catholic doctrines. In so far, however, as the imposition of the doctrine was a means to an end, namely, to radicate[sic] him in selected centers where he fell within social and governmental control, it can not be criticized. On the other hand, the effect of the change was, I am inclined strongly to believe for the worse, for he lost that spirit of manliness and independence that is a characteristic of the pagan, and he became a prey to the more Christianized people within whose sphere of influence and exploitation he fell. I have always been struck by the differences, moral, economic, and even physical, between the debt-ridden, cringing conquistas, and his manly, free, independent, vigorous pagan compeer. One-half of the conquista's time is consumed in contracting debts to the Bisya trader, and the other half in paying them. His rice is sold before it is harvested. His abak patch often is mortgaged before the planting is completed. He is an economic serf to an inconsiderate taskmaster.[42]

[42] The special government established in the subprovince of Butun took immediate steps toward ameliorating the condition of the conquistas by opening trading posts on the lower and middle Agsan, so that the above observations refer to the period preceding the formation of the special government.


PLATE 1. a, b, Manbo women. Lankilaan, upper Agsan. Note tattooing. c, Forearm of woman in d. d, Mandya woman. Compostela. Note shaven eyebrows and personal ornaments.

PLATE 2. a, Maggugan man and Manbo woman. Jativa, upper Agsan. b, Debabon man and Manbo woman. Upper Agsan. c, Manbo woman. Tagusb, upper Agsan. d, Mandya man. Compostela, upper Agsan.

PLATE 3. a, Manbo man. Tagusb, upper Agsan. b, Manbos. Ihawn River, Agsan Valley. PLATE 4. a, Manbo women. Umaan River, Agsan Valley. b, Manbo house. Moncayo, upper Agsan. Note thatched roof, notched pole, and opening around the sides above the walls.

PLATE 5. a, Manbo house, built for defense. Near Verula, upper Agsan. b, Manbo house, Gandia, upper Agsan. Note notched pole, numerous posts, smoke vent, gable pieces, thatched roof, and bamboo shingles.

PLATE 6. a, Typical Manbo house. Near Compostela. b, Manbo house. Central Agsan. Built on a tree stump for defense. Such houses are now very rare.

PLATE 7. a, Armor coat made of abak, with war chief's red jacket inside. Upper Agsan Manbos. b, Manbo abak skirt, woven in red, white, and black. This is the only lower garment worn by women. It serves at night as a blanket. c, White trousers made of abak. Central Agsan. d, Trousers made of blue cotton cloth. Upper Agsan. e, Mandya abak skirt. Worn by Manbos when obtainable. The design is produced by the tie and dye process.

PLATE 8. a, b, Women's jackets of cotton and abak, embroidered with red, yellow, white, and black cotton yarn. Upper Agsan. c, War chief's red jacket. Insignia of bagni-ship used by Manbos of the upper Agsan. d, War chief's red headkerchief. This indicates that the wearer has killed at least three people. e, Hat of sago palm bark. Middle Agsan. f, Man's jacket worn by wild Manbos of the eastern and central Cordilleras. g, Man's jacket. Upper Agsan style. h, Central Agsan style. i, Hat worn in the Agsan Valley south of 8 latitude. j, Woman's jacket. Central Agsan. k, Ihawn and Babo style. l, Manbo-Maggugan style. m, Manbo betel-nut bag. n, Betel-nut bag made of Mandya abak and cotton cloth.

PLATE 9. a, Cage for keeping the sacred omen bird. b, d, Bamboo guitars. c, Wooden two-stringed guitar. e, f, h, Bamboo flutes. g, Bamboo jew's-harp. i, Drum with head of deerskin. j, l, m, n, Fish traps and fishing line. k, o, p, q, r, Rattan baskets. s, t, Women's incised bamboo combs. u, z, cc, Bead necklaces, worn by Manbo men and women. v, y, Seed and shell necklaces, worn by Manbo women. w, aa, bb, dd, ee, Women's incised bamboo combs. x, Woman's silver breastplate. Made by Mandyas out of coins; worn by upper Agsan Manbos. ff, ll, rr, Nito bracelets, worn by Manbo men and women. gg, ii, kk, Shell bracelets, worn by Manbo women. hh, jj, Beaded girdles made of nito and human hair, worn by Manbo women. mm, nn, oo, pp, Wooden ear disks and pendants. qq, Black coral bracelet, bent by heating. Worn by Manbo men and women. ss, Nito armlet, worn by Manbo men. tt, Bear's bracelet, worn by Manbo men and women.

PLATE 10. a, Fish spear. Central Agsan. b-f, Fishing bows and arrows. The arrows have detachable points. g, Mandya spear used by Manbos of upper Agsan. h, Central Agsan spear. i-k, Manbo bow and arrows. l, Manbo shield. Upper Agsan. m, Mandya shield. n, Shield. Central Manbo. o-r, Mandya daggers and sheaths, used by Manbos. Upper Agsan. s, Mandya betel-nut knife, used by Manbos. t-v, Manbo bamboo lime tubes. w, Moro brass box, used by Manbos. x, y, Manbo work bolo and sheath. z, aa, Mandya war bolo and sheath. Highly prized by Manbos.

PLATE 11. a, Mandya woman in a dancing attitude that is characterisitc of Manbos. Compostela, upper Agsan. b, Men of the mixed Compostela group in a dancing attitude that is characteristic of the Manbo war dance.

PLATE 12. a, Altar house, used during the greater sacrifices. Upper Agsan. b, Religious house. Lankilaan upper Agsan. Note superiority of this house over the ordinary dwelling house. This kind of house was built by the Manbos during the great religious movement.

PLATE 13. a, Sacred image and offering stand. Note the egg on the stand. Gerona, upper Agsan. b, c, Sacred posts with offering trays for the Magbabya, used on the upper Agsan during the great religious movement.

PLATE 14. a, d, Ceremonial birth canoes. b, c, Blood oblation trays, used by warrior priests and for invoking the spirits of blood. e, Ceremonial stand, offering plate, and rice paddle. f-i, Sacred images, used to attract Manbo divinities. j, Sacred shield. k, l, Sacred jars. m, o, Wooden stands used on the upper Agsan during religious ceremonies. n, p, War chief's charms, worn during war raids. They contain magic herbs. q, Ceremonial birth offering stand. Middle Agsan. r, Ceremonial ladder for a religious house, ceremonial chair, and sacred image. Bamboo guitars like that shown were used constantly during the great religious movement. Upper Agsan. s, Bukdnon man. Silay, Bukdnon subprovince.


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