Book on indigenous knowledge, spirituality out

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 22 Feb) – A book on indigenous knowledge and spirituality of the Lumad or indigenous peoples of Mt. Kitanglad Range will be launched next month by the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN).

The book cover

Titled “The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad,” the book is a compendium of the cultural practices, belief system and worldview of the Bukidnon, Higaonon and Talaandig, the three tribes inhabiting the mountain range and its surroundings, KIN executive director Ma. Easterluna Canoy said.

It describes, among others, the importance of rituals, indigenous cosmology, and the link between culture and Nature, Canoy, one of the authors, said.

In addition, it features the life stories of cultural experts who agreed to share their knowledge on indigenous culture that was handed down across generations. These experts include shamans, traditional midwives and historians, she added.

Conceived by Talaandig chieftain Datu Makapukaw Adolino Saway, the book serves as a documentation of indigenous norms and practices which the Lumad hope would be considered in state policies affecting them as inhabitants of Mt. Kitanglad.

A natural park that has been declared an ASEAN Heritage Site, Mt. Kitanglad is governed by the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act and the Mt. Kitanglad Protected Area Act.

Datu Makapukaw said the state-prescribed management standards used in Mt. Kitanglad should be sensitive to Lumad culture and beliefs.

He said the Lumad have several practices related to natural resource management that can contribute to biodiversity conservation, a claim affirmed by several anthropological studies.

Malaybalay Bishop Jose A. Cabantan said the book “will help us get into the depth of the wisdom, knowledge, practices and way of life of our indigenous peoples. It will help us appreciate the richness of life’s gift, the diverse gifts bestowed on us by our Creator.”

Edited by MindaNews editor H. Marcos C. Mordeno, the book will be launched on March 9 at the auditorium of Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay.

It was published by KIN with support from the United States Agency for International Development. (MindaNews)