Magindanao map
  • AKA: Magindanaw, Maguindanaw, Maguindanaon, Magindanaoan, Mindanao
  • Location: Southwest Mindanao
  • Subsistence: Wet rice; marshland agriculture
  • Population: 1,649,882 (1994), 469,216 in province of Magindanao.

The Magindanao are one of the largest ethnic groups of the Philippines, and they had so much contact with the Spanish that the latter mangled ther name to create a moniker for the whole island. Population concentrations are in the towns of Dinaig, Datu Piang, Maganoy, and Buluan. Culture, social structure and organization are heavily influenced by Islam, and based here is one of the three Philippine sultanates, which at one time had authority over all of southwestern Mindanao. The complex sociopolitical system is much like 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 laws (adat) is adhered to, embodied in oral traditions and in accordance with the Paluwaran code which contains provisions of every aspect of life. The arts and craft is well developed, exhibiting sophistication in weaving and metalworking, with very characteristic design motifs that shows affinity with the rest of Southeast Asia, yet retaining a distinctive ethnic character.