Sunday, May 4, 2014

Yakan Migrations and Diaspora

When it comes to Migrations and Diaspora the Yakan Tribe was a group of people that Migrated to the

Basilan Island. There was no one from the Yakan tribe that left the Basilan Island to travel to another, the

Yakan tribe is one culture that stays together and move as a unit. Basilan Island, home of the Yakan tribe, is

part of the Sulu Archipelago, which extends from Mindanao and is comprised of volcanic and coral islands.

The origins of the Yakan people are a matter of some debate. While 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 certainly

understandable that they would prefer to trace their ancestry to peoples that were early

converts to Islam rather than the non-Muslim Papuan tribes. Physical resemblance tends

to strengthen this claim. 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.


 Philippines-Archipelago. “Philippines-Archipelago.” 2001–2009.

17 The Yakan of Basilan Island: Another Unknown and Exotic Tribe of the Philippines. Sherfan, Andrew.
“Chapter 1: A General Background on Basilan Island [pp. 16–17]. 1976. Cebu City: Fotomatic.

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