Tau't Batu in Philippines

Tau't Batu
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Mark Stevens
People Name: Tau't Batu
Country: Philippines
10/40 Window: No
Population: 500
World Population: 500
Primary Language: Palawano, Central
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Filipino, Tribal
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Tau't Bato are still practicing a simple lifestyle. The men are still wearing G-strings made of bark and cloth while the women are wearing a skirt made of a piece of cloth to cover their lower body. Most of them are half naked, but because of the outside influence through trade, women are beginning to wear a blouse.

They live around cave dwellings in which they construct a house framework made of light and sturdy materials such as saplings. They make sleeping platforms and multi-purpose platforms to serve as floors or beds.

The Tau't Bato practice marriage groups or "ka-asawahan", which serves as the basic social unit among them. The "Ka-asawahan" or household units can be basically made up of a couple, man and his wife, to several numbers of couples. They are further grouped into a larger association called "Bulun-bulun". The system is an arrangement of several couples co-habitating in a single cave for residence. It is characterized by a system of sharing different kinds of social and material exchanges such as food and other equipment.

The Tau't Bato are music-lovers too. They know how to play two musical instruments known as "Kubing" and "Kudlong" in addition to the gong.

The Tau't Bato are cultivators who practice multiple cropping with cassava as the major product. They also plant sweet potato, sugarcane, malunggay, garlic, pepper, string beans, squash, tomato, pineapple and other plants which will grown on their farms. They are also fond of hunting and foraging in order to supply their need for more carbohydrates. Wild pigs are the most hunted animals.

Trade among the Tau't Bato is done through "Sambi" (barter) or "Dagang" (monetary exchange). Tau't Bato's trade is specifically for marine fish which they get from the neighboring Candawaga people. The Tau't Bato people also trade forest products such as almaciga and rattan. They are also good in basketry.

The Tau't Bato people live in a very remote place which is not affected by any political activity. Because of their small numbers and simple ways, not many political activities are being done among them.

Prayer Points

* The Tau't Bato community is an unreached territory. Although the population is very small, they need a spiritual leader and a church. The Tau't Bato people are waiting for anyone who can introduce them to the Savior of mankind.
* Perhaps because of their late exposure to modern civilization, there is a great need for literacy ministry among them. This could pave the way towards their spiritual salvation.
* As the community becomes open to modernity, the people must be protected from the abrupt changes that they may experience in the future. There must be enough time to prepare them for modernization.

Text Source:   Asia Missions (AMNET)