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The term Higaonon means "people of the wilderness." The Higaonons occupy not only parts of Bukidnon Province but also the hinterlands of Agusan del Sur and the boundaries of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon Province.

The ethno-legal aspect of the Higaonon culture revolves mainly around the datu system. Here, a principal headman rules over an entire community/band composed of several clans. Under this headman are a member of minor datus that form a sort of a counselling body.

As the headman, the datu is responsible for the administration of the entire community. The status of the datu is both acquired and achieved, A dying datu passes his title to one of his children, preferably a son, through selective inheritance. It is usually the most deserving son who is chosen to acquire the status of a datu.


  1. "Documenting Sources from the World Wide Web." National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, http://www.ncip.gov.ph/resources/ethno_detail.php?ethnoid=77, (July 13, 2007)

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