Aetas: Original Black Race of the Mountainous Part of the Philippines

Written by Jae Jones

The Aetas, Agta or Ayta are the original black race Africans that lived in scattered, isolated mountainous northern part of the Phillippines on the island of Luzon before the Austronesian migration. One theory suggests that the Aeta are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines, who, contrary to their seafaring Austronesian neighbors, arrived through land bridges that linked the islands with the Asian mainland. The Aetas have shown resistance to change. Aetas had little interaction with the Spaniards as they remained in the mountains during the Spanish rule.

There are different views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. Those who believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being who rules over lesser spirits or deities, with the Aeta of Mt. Pinatubo worshipping “Apo Na.”  The Aetas are also known to be animists; the Pinatubo Aeta believe in environmental spirits such as anito and kamana. Aeta women are known around the country as experts of the herbal medicines.

Though tradition the Aetas  visual art is body scarification. The Aetas intentionally wound the skin on their back, arms, breast, legs, hands, calves and abdomen, and then they irritate the wounds with fire, lime and other means to form scars.


Please share this piece of black history with your friends on Facebook.

Leave Your Thoughts Below!

About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

Leave a Comment

Rewinding To Remember