With over 7,100 islands, the Philippines is abundant with various ethno-linguistic groups. With a diverse indigenous community, the Indigenous Peoples (IP) offer a snapshot of this country’s rich culture and colorful history.
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), otherwise known as RA No. 8371, defines indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples as:
Historically rich as they are, the Indigenous Peoples remain to be one of the poorest and most disadvantaged sectors. In addition, the introduction of new cultural systems threatens the age-old customs and traditions of these communities.
Realizing the need for people to be educated regarding the plight of the IPs in the country, documentary photographer Jacob Maentz and his wife, Nahoma, started the Katutubong Filipino Project. Through compelling and visually stunning photo documentaries, Maentz showcases the way of life in indigenous communities in an effort to immortalize a slowly changing and disappearing culture amid the social, political, and economic challenges they are facing in this modernized society.
What started out as a simple documentary about the Agta people living along the eastern coast of Luzon, the Katutubong Filipino Project was launched through a Kickstarter campaign and now covers various areas, including: Cordilleras (Igorots), Mindoro (Mangyan), Palawan tribes, Lumad groups (Mindanao), Badjao (Mindanao), and Aetas of Luzon.
Recognizing the importance of preserving the country’s rich traditions, Katutubong Filipino Project aims to create a cultural awareness—because the preservation and continuous flourishing of the indigenous people’s culture and traditions are invaluable wealth of the country.
In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, we have a heritage we can proudly call our own.
Learn more about the project by visiting the website, www.katutuboproject.org.