(FROM WIKIPIDEA PAGE 1&2)
The Aeta (Ayta, pronounced eye-tə), or Agta, are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro-like textured hair with a higher frequency of naturally lighter hair color (blondism) relative to the general population, small nose, and dark brown eyes. They are thought to be among the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian migrations. The Aeta were included in the group of people termed "Negrito" during Spanish colonial rule asNegritos. Various Aeta groups in northern Luzon are known as "Pugut" or "Pugot," a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors, and which is the colloquial term for those with darker complexions. In Ilocano, the word also means "goblin" or "forest spirit." However, these terms are considered by fellow Negritos of northern Luzon as inappropriate and offensive. HISTORY
The Aeta people in the Philippines are Australo-Melanesians. Today other groups of Australo-Melanesians are the Aborigines in Australia, Papuans and the Melanesians of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia etc. The history of the Aeta continues to confound anthropologists and archaeologists. One theory suggests that the Aeta are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines, who, contrary to their seafaring Austronesian neighbors, arrived through land bridges that linked the country with the Asian mainland. Unlike many of their Austronesian counterparts, the Aetas have shown resistance to change. The attempts of theSpaniards to settle them in reducciones or reservations all throughout Spanish rule failed. The Aeta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of the Philippines. Aetas are considered as the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian migrations. They are nomadic and build only temporary shelters made of sticks driven to the ground and covered with the palm of banana leaves. The well-situated and more modernized Aetas have moved to villages and areas of cleared mountains. They live in houses made of bamboo and cogon grass. Aetas are found in Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Angeles, Olongapo, Panay, Bataan and Nueva Ecija. But because of the Mount Pinatubo eruption, some of them moved to resettlement areas in Pampanga and Tarlac. Mining, deforestation, illegal logging, and slash-and-burn farming has caused the indigenous population in all parts of the Philippines to steadily decrease to the point where they number in the thousands today. The Philippines affords them no protection. In addition, the Aeta have become extremely nomadic due to social and economic strain on their culture and way of life that had previously remained unchanged for thousands of years. Demographics
The life expectancy at birth of the Aeta is just 16.5 years, with only a third of children surviving to adulthood at 15 years– at which point life expectancy is still only 27.3 years. Young women reach full adult height (average 140 cm (4 ft 7 in)) at age 12 or 13. The most thorough longitudinal study done of any Aeta group (or any ethnic community) is available on the Web. Language
All Aeta communities have adopted the language of their Austronesian Filipino neighbors, which have sometimes diverged over time to become different languages. These include, in order of number of speakers, Mag-indi, Mag-antsi, Abellen, Ambala, and Mariveleño.
There are different views on the dominant character of the Aeta religion. Those who believe they are monotheistic argue that various Aeta tribes believe in a supreme being who rules over lesser spirits or deities, with the Aeta of Mt. Pinatubo worshipping "Apo Na". The Aetas are also animists. For example, the Pinatubo Aeta believe in...
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