NorCot’s Menuvu tribe prays for good harvest and peace PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 November 2013 14:06

Ethnic Menuvu villagers in Carmen, North Cotabato are optimistic of bountiful harvests and peace in their enclaves after initiating a “samayaan” rite invoking productivity and unity with non-native settlers around them.

Tribal chieftain Dahil Mampurok, an appointed deputy governor for indigenous affairs of the provincial government of North Cotabato, said the ritual, held last week in Barangay Bentangan in Carmen, was also meant to perpetuate their centuries-old traditions on propagating fellowship among tribal folks and neighbouring non-Menuvu communities.

“We believe we shall have bumper crops and peace in our communities. We look forward to realizing that in the coming months,” Mampurok told newsmen in Cebuano dialect yesterday.

Mampurok said he and his tribal constituents are grateful to the local government unit of Carmen and the office of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Talino-Mendoza for providing interventions that hastened their forging ahead with their cultural activity.

Mampurok, who is equivalent to a grand datu among Central Mindanao’s ethnic Moro communities, said their samayaan festival was capped with pamikir, pamendita, hari and aglukuvan dances by participating clans from across the Menuvu settlements in Carmen and surrounding hinterlands.

The traditional dances were part of the samayaan ritual interceding divine intervention for bountiful harvests and co-existence among Menuvus and other hinterland tribes..

Mampurok said the samayaan tradition, pioneered by their ancestors, is a practice that reminds North Cotabato’s Arumanen-Menuvu people of their tribal lineage.

Mampurok said the provincial government has been helping nurture and preserve the traditional practices of the Menuvu people and other hinterland indigenous groups in upland areas of the province, including the native inhabitants of Mt. Apo.

Of Visayan descent, Mendoza, now in her second term as provincial governor, is also a resident of Carmen, a booming agricultural hub located at the border of North Cotabato and Bukidnon province, where there are also indigenous groups.

Mampurok said participants to their samayaan rite in Barangay Bentangan also performed kalong, a war dance by men clad in colourful Menuvu clothes fashioned from handwoven fabric.

Mampurok emphasized, however, that while Menuvu tribesmen are warriors by cultural stature, warfare for them can only be waged to fight external aggression.

Conflicts among tribal folks and between Menuvus and their non-Menuvu neighbors are promptly settled amicably by a council of elders and their datus, according to Mampurok.