The Magindanao (Magindanaw, Maguindanaw, Maguindanaon, Magindanaoan, Mindanao) are one of the larger ethnic groups of the country with a total population of over 1,649,882 (NM 1994), with about 469,216 of this number found in the province of Maguindanao. The concentrations are in the municipalities of Dinaig (35,851), Datu Piang (51,970), Maganoy (46,006), and Buluan (52,242)(NSO 1990).
Constant contact by the Spaniards with this group led to the naming of the entire island after the Magindanao during historical times. The Magindanao practice Islam; their culture, social structure and organization are influenced by this religion, without which the group would not have been able to resist the incursions of the Spanish conquistadores. One of the three Philippine sultanates is among the Magindanao. The Magindanao sultanate at one period in history could claim ritual authority over southwestern Mindanao. Their sociopolitical system and the hierarchical structure of social positions are complex and similar to that of the Sulu sultanate. There are three royal houses: Maguindanaon in Sultan Kudarat, Buayan in Datu Piang, and Kabuntalan in Tumbao, all of which trace their lineage to Sharif Kabunsuan—one of the earliest Muslim missionaries—and Sultan Kudarat. Customary law (adat) is adhered to, embodied in oral traditions and in accordance with the Paluwaran code which contains provisions on every aspect of life.
The culture is characteristically lowland with a special adaptation to marshland. Wet rice, the staple, is produced. Arts and crafts are well-developed, exhibiting sophistication in weaving and metalworking, with very characteristic design motifs that show affinity with the rest of Southeast Asia, yet retaining a distinctive ethnic character.
|Distribution of Ethnic Groups by Provinces
(Arrangement: Population count)
|Total National Population||1,649,882|
|Agusan del N.||70|
|Agusan del S.||147 (NM 1989:130)|
|Bukidnon||123 (NM 1991:100)|
|Surigao del N.||88|
|Surigao del S.||176|
|Davao del N.||(NM 1991: 1223)|
|Davao Or.||(NM 1991: 150)|
|Davao del S.||(RC1991: 2100)|
|N. Cotabato||(NM 1991:171946)|
|S. Cotabato||(NM 1991: 58895)|
|S. Kudarat||(NM 1993:114549)|
|Zamboanga del S.||(NM 1992: 33826)|