Batak map
  • AKA: Batac, Tinitianes
  • Location: Northeastern mountains of Palawan between Malcapmp and the Babuyan River. A population center at Tanabag which cultivates dry rice.
  • Languages: Tagbanwa and Palawan.
  • Subsistence: Gathering, hunting, some swidden rice, cassava, tubers, vegetables.
  • Population: 1780 (1990).

The Batak are genetically related to the Pinatubo Ayta Negritos of West Central Luzon. Once proficient in the use of both bow and arrow and blowgun, these have now largely fallen into obsolescence. Batak society is organized around bilateral kinship in discrete bands, and bands are loosely tied together in a larger comminity baranggay-style by a headman called kapitan. The Batak have adopted the Tagbanwa institution of a surigiden, or councel of elders, led by a masikampo. They have also adopted the Tagbanwa belief in five souls (residing in the head and each limb), the welfare of each of which determines in its own way what happens to the individual. The Batak have been extensively documented in James F. Eder's On the Road to Tribal Extinction and in Eder and Fernandez' Palawan at the Crossroads.