The origins of the Yakan people are a matter of some debate. Some believe they are descendants of people who migrated from present-day Papua New Guinea, the Yakan believe their descent stems from people who lived in Borneo and Malaysia. It is understandable that they would prefer to trace their ancestry to peoples that were early converts to Islam rather than the non-Muslim Papuan tribes.
Most Yakan have straight black hair and the slight build associated with the Malay rather than the more Negroid features of the Papuans.17 The name Yakan is derived from a misunderstanding; the Spanish thought the name of an island tree, the Yakal, referred to the island’s inhabitants.
The Yakan tribe is situated in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
This tribe uses a lot of beads, shells and coins in their jewellery and every day life. As well as decoration this also used as currency, bride wealth and to mark peace pacts. For example if a girl accepts the bead it also means she accepts the marriage.
|Shé is wearing tribal ethnic accessories from the southern Philippines, Mindanao. In particular from those of the Yakans of Basilan|
|White dots are painted onto the faces of brides and grooms|
|Hand woven fabric made by the Yakan Tribe.|
|The Yakan tribe is well known for creating fabrics such as this.|