Moro (ethnic group)

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{{#if: | {{#if:Abdulwahid Bidin | {{#if:Lumad, Visayan,
other Filipino peoples,
other Austronesian peoples | {{#if:| }}
Moro
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Abdulwahid Bidin
Abdulwahid Bidin }}
Total population
5 million
(2006 estimate; 6% of the Philippine population)

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(including those of ancestral descent)}}
Regions with significant populations
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Languages
Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug,
other Moro languages,
Chabacano, Cebuano, Filipino, English, Malay
Religions
Predominantly Islam
Related ethnic groups
{{#if:Lumad, Visayan,
other Filipino peoples,
other Austronesian peoples | Lumad, Visayan,
other Filipino peoples,
other Austronesian peoples}} }}
Footnotes

{{{footnotes}}}

The Moro are a multilingual ethnic group and the largest mainly non-Christian<ref>http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/AllDocsByUNID/8165796a8b37db4ec1256d83004cfb65</ref> ethnic group in the Philippines, comprising about 5% of the total Philippine population as of 2005,<ref>http://countrystudies.us/philippines/38.htm</ref> making them the sixth largest ethnic group in the country. Their name originated from the Spanish word Moor, and they mostly live in a region dubbed as Bangsamoro in the southern Philippines. Due to migration, Moro communities have also begun to appear in major cities like Manila, Cebu and Baguio.

Contents

Background

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Muslims and Christians have generally remained distinct societies.

Longstanding grievances stemming from resentment due to mainsteam prejudice against them, years of governmental neglect as well as impoverishment have contributed to the roots of the Moro struggle in recent decades.

A significant change of government policy led to the 1990 creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which gave Moros in the region control over certain aspects of government, but not their security and foreign affairs.

Social factors in the early 1990s contributed against the political autonomy sought by Muslim leaders. Industrial development and increased migration outside the region brought new educational demands and new roles for women. These changes in turn led to greater assimilation and, including intermarriage.

Society

"Nation"

Bangsamoro territory under Moro control
Historical extent
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The "homeland" of the Moro is Bangsamoro, the word comes from the Malay word bangsa, meaning nation or people, and the word Moro.

Bangsamoro covers the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay. It also includes the cities of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.

Government

Traditional

The Moros have traditionally been led by either a sultan or by datu.

The concept of the sultan was brought to the Philippines through Islamization. The presence of Islam, began the creation of sultanates like that of Maguindanao and that of Sulu

Meanwhile, the datu was the traditional ruler in Filipino societies. Their function was similar to the duke. In return for tribute and labor, the datu provides aid in emergencies and mediates disputes with other communities through the agamat. They may also have four wives if they wish. In the past, datus have led raids on other villages in order to seek revenge ('maratabat) for the death of a follower or the injury of his honor.

Datus currently act as the community leaders in Moro societies and administer the Shari'ah (Muslim governing law) through the agama or under the tenet of Islam. The datu essentially heads government programs in Moro communities, which tend to be hierarchial in rural areas.

Modern

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is headed by a Regional Governor. The Regional Governor, along with the Regional-Vice Governor, act as the executive branch.

The ARMM has a unicameral Regional Assembly headed by a Speaker. This act as the legislative of the region and is responsible for regional ordinances. It is composed of three members for every congressional district. The current membership is twenty-four.

Lifestyle

Islam has been the most dominant influence on the Moro culture. Polygamy under Islam is permitted but is rarely practised. Pork is not eaten since it considered taboo under the Qu'ran. Another practice is circumcision (tuli). This pratice is done by most Filipino males, whether Christian or Muslim.

Music

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The culture of the Moro revolves around the music of the kulintang, a specific type of gong instrument, found in the Southern Philippines. This music includes original styles called the Tagonggo and the Kapanirong.

Subgroups

Dominant Moro subgroups.

There are at least ten ethnic subgroups within the Moro ethnic group, all descended from the same prehistoric Austronesian migrations from Taiwan that populated the rest of the Philippines and Maritime South-east Asia. These could be identified on the basis of language. Three of these groups make up the majority of the Moro. They are the Maguindanaons of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao provinces; the Maranao of the two Lanao provinces; and the Tausug of the Sulu Archipelago. Smaller groups include the Banguingui, Samal and the Bajau of the Sulu Archipelago; the Yakan of Basilan and Zamboanga del Sur; the Ilanons and Sangirs of Davao; the Melabugnans of southern Palawan; and the Jama Mapuns of Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi Island.

Moros are not closely knit and they lack solidarity.<ref>Nick Joaquin, Culture and History: Occasional Notes on the Process of Philippine Becoming (Pasig: Anvil Publishing, 2004), 226.</ref> Each group is proud of their culture, identity and language, including their variation of Islam. Endemic conflict has persisted for centuries. Internal differences among the Moros existed in the 1980s, however, these were outweighed by cultural, social, and traditional aspects as well as shared historical experiences vis-à-vis non-Muslims.

History

Pre-Hispanic era

During 1380, the arrival of Arab missionaries, including Makhdum Karim, in Tawi-Tawi initiated the conversion of the native population into Islam. Subsequent trade between Malays also helped establish the Islamic faith.

Starting in 1457, the introduction of Islam led to the creation of many sultanates. This included the sultanates of Buayan, Maguindanao and Sulu, which is considered the largest and longest-lasting Muslim state in the country until its annexation into the Philippines in 1898.

Many of the inhabitants of the pre-Hispanic Philippines are said to be Muslims. Rajah Sulayman, a chieftain of Manila at the time of the Spanish conquest, is one example.

Hispanic era

An 1858 German map of the Far East showing the limits of "Spanish Posessions" (Spanische Besitzungen) in the Philippines.

The Spanish arrived in 1565. This caused most of the Philippines to end up under the Spanish rule. The sultanates, however, maintained their independence, which enabled them to develop their own culture and identity.

With the colonial intentions, the Spanish held incursions within Moro territory. They also began erecting military stations and garrisons with pockets of civilian settlements. The most notable of these are Zamboanga and Cotabato.

Feeling threathened by these actions, Moros decided to challenge Spanish authority. They began conducting raids on Christian coastal towns.

Bankruptcy due to the ongoing raids caused the Spanish crown to recognize Moro sovereignty. However, only the Sultanate of Sulu benefited since it was the only sultanate left standing.<ref> Mindanao Peace Process by Fr. Eliseo R. Mercado, Jr., OMI. [1]</ref>

American period

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