Mansaka map
  • Location: Mindanao, Davao Oriental province.
  • Subsistence: Wide range of swidden crops, abaca as cash crop.

The Mansaka are a distinctive subgroup of the Mandaya. They are known for their distinctive costumes and ornamentation, involving tie-dyed textiles and embroidery using a sophisticated system of symbols with named motifs. Beadwork and silver craft are also well-developed. Concentrated in the towns of Caraga, Manay, Cateel, Lupon, and Tarragona, the Mansaka live in dispersed settlements in upstream areas practicing slash and burn cultivation. They live mainly on rice, various tubers, and bananas. Houses, which may contain up to three family units, are spatially organized into kinship-based neighborhoods and always placed within eyesight of each other. Families may be nuclear or polygynous. Traditionally, each neighborhood is ruled by a distinctively dressed headman, bagani, who receives advice from a council of elders, angtutukay; in many areas, however, this has been replaced by the barangay structures.