Table of Contents
Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2013, Article ID 391878, 6 pages
Research Article

Indigenous Aeta Magbukún Self-Identity, Sociopolitical Structures, and Self-Determination at the Local Level in the Philippines

1Peninsula Ecosystems and Health Foundation Inc., Philippines
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Australia
3School of Engineering and Information Technology, Murdoch University, Western, Australia
4Institute for Foundational Learning Inc., Philippines

Received 7 December 2012; Accepted 1 April 2013

Academic Editor: Santos Alonso

Copyright © 2013 Vincent S. Balilla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Indigenous Aeta Magbukún maintain a primarily nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle in their forested ancestral lands. Through the continued encroachment of non-Indigenous populations, the Aeta Magbukún persist at a critical level. Finding it increasingly difficult to sustain their traditional livelihoods, they must engage in informal commerce to procure sufficient food throughout the year. This work explores the basis of self-identity, traditional kinship ties, evolution of sociopolitical organisation, and the developing political options that sustain the small and vulnerable Indigenous population. Despite recent tentative sociopolitical developments, securing cultural protection requires greater effort in developing political communication and representation at a local and national level. In doing so, the Aeta Magbukún can meet their basic needs, secure traditional cultural knowledge, and are able to influence their own development during a time of relatively rapid acculturation within the mainstream Philippine societal complex.