Essay on Batak and Chokwe

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The Batak and the Chokwe Cultures

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The Batak and the Chokwe Cultures
The Batak are among the nearly seventy indigenous peoples in the Philippines. Their location is the northeastern part of the Palawan, a fairly large island of the archipelago southwest. Their name “Batak” is derived from a Cuyunon word which means “The mountain people”. This is because their traditional habitat was around the mountains. There are only approximately 500 Batak remnants. The anthropologists consider the Batak to have a close relationship with another Negrito tribe, the Ayta. They appear to be small, dark skinned and have short “kinky” or curly hair. Sometimes, the Batak go for hunting trips in the forest, a
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Both the Batak and Chokwe cultures believe in supernatural forces. They believe that the supernatural forces are capable of harming the wrongdoers and rewarding the good. This is evident in their rituals where they manipulate the spirits by naming children after the ancestors who were believed to be good. This showed that they believed the beneficial character traits of the ancestors will definitely be inculcated into the newborn as he/she grows up. They didn’t name their children after the ancestors who were believed to be bad to avoid their negative traits to reoccur in their children. The two cultures too believed that the supernatural forces were responsible for negative situations like hunger, famine, disease, death, misfortunes among others. They had diviners who had the duty of communicating with the spirits and making requests pertaining to the people’s problems. Both cultures honored spirits by protecting and taking care of the places they were believed to live in. Interference of the spirits’ dwelling place was considered to be punishable and could cause disasters to the community. When it was time to make requests to the spirits, both cultures advocated for special sacrifice to be offered. The offering could also be made to plead with the spirits if they are angry since their anger was witnessed on the disasters or misfortunes the community experienced.
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