Opinions on Maranao people

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Maranao (Maranao: ['mәranaw]; Filipino: Mëranaw), also spelled as Meranao and Maranaw, is the term used officially by the Philippine government in reference to the southern tribe who are now the people of the lake called Ranao in the Iranaon language, a predominantly Muslim region in the Philippines island of Mindanao. They are famous for their artwork, sophisticated weaving, wood and metal crafts, and their epic literature, Darangen. The word Maranao, also spelled Maranaw is a misnomer as it does not have a sense in reference to nouns such as people, place or thing. The prefix MA- means 'to be', i.e., Maranao means to be lake. The real term is Iranon which when pronounced fluently is Iranon (also Iranun) meaning "People of the Lake," referring to the indigenous people who inhabited the lands around Lake Lanao whose principal town is Marawi City. The Maranaos are part of the wider Moro ethnic group, who constitute the largest Moro ethnic group.

Maranao and their culture can be best described by the following:

  • Lake Lanao
  • Sarimanok
  • Darangen, a UNESCO Heritage
  • Singkil, a popular and world's recognized Philippine dance
  • Okir on wooden artifacts and brasswares

The life of the Maranaos is centered on Lake Lanao, the largest in Mindanao, and the second largest and deepest lake in the Philippines. This lake is the subject of various myths and legends. It supports a major fishery, and powers the hydroelectric plant installed on it; the Agus River system generates 70% of the electricity used by the people of Mindanao. A commanding view of the lake is offered by Marawi City, the provincial capital.


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Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Maranao people has and the evolution of its popularity.

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