Bagobo Tagabawa Beliefs

Essay by techfreakUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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Heirarchy of gods. The Tagabawa are polyhteistic. They have a wide array of diwata or gods to whom their songs and myths are addressed. Among these is Tiguaima, the creator, assisted by the lesser gods like Mamal-e, creator of the earth, Macoreret, creator of the air, Domacolen, creator of the mountains, and Macaponguis, creator of water. Other diwatas are the Manama, dispenser of reward and punishment, and Todlai, the patron of marriage who is offered buyo and rice. The Bagobos also believe in a pantheon of demons. Darago is the great demon assisted by lesser demons like Colambusan, Abac, Tagamaling, Comalay, and Siring.

Rituals. The daily activities of the Tagabawa are marked by rituals. Areca nuts, betel leaves, food, clothing, and brass instruments are all placed on altars for the blessing of their diwata. Through such offerings they obtain immunity from malignancy spirits called buso and spirits of the departed.

A distinctive feature of Bagobo rituals used to be the practice of offering human sacrifices or paghuaga, especially in honor of Mandarangan, the godof war who resides in the crater of Mt. Apo and grants courage and success. Sacrifices are also offered to Tolus Ka Balekat, referred to as the one who knows everything and is the god of the highest type of altar. The slave to be sacrificed is bought from the Moros and unscrupulous Christians. The cost of such was shared by the family members offering the sacrifice. The victim is killed by pushing a lance forcibly into his body. The body is chopped into pieces and divided among all those who are present. It was believed that those who come in contact with the sacrificial victim is granted courage by the Mandarangan. Children who participate grow fearless. The present generation of Bagobo hardly react to...