Blaan people

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"B'laan" redirects here. For the language, see B'laan language.
Total population
Regions with significant populations
B'laan, Cebuano, Filipino, English
Related ethnic groups
Lumad, Bajau, Moro, Visayans, Filipinos, and Austronesians

The Blaan{2}

q people, popularly but erroneously spelled as "B'laan," are one of the indigenous peoples of Southern Mindanao in the Philippines. Their name could have derived from "bla" meaning "opponent" and the suffix "an" meaning "people". Other terms used to refer to this group are Blaan, Bira-an, Baraan, Vilanes, and Bilanes.

Relation to other groups[edit]

The B'laan are neighbors of the T'boli, and live in Lake Sebu and T'boli municipalities of South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos City, the southeastern part of Davao and around Lake Buluan in North Cotabato. They are famous for their brassworks, beadwork and tabih weave. The people of these tribes wear colorful embroidered native costumes and beadwork accessories. The women of these tribes, particularly, wear heavy brass belts with brass 'tassels' ending in tiny brass bells that herald their approach even when they are a long way on.


Some B'laan natives were displaced when General Santos City was founded in 1939. Others settled in the city.

Their language is said to be the source of the name for Koronadal City, from two B'laan words – koron or kolon meaning cogon grass and nadal or datal meaning plain, which aptly described the place to the natives. On the other hand, Marbel, which is another name for the poblacion, is a B'laan term Malb-el which means "murky waters" referring to a river, now called Marbel River.

The tribe practices indigenous rituals while adapting to the way of life of modern Filipinos.[1]

Recent developments[edit]

The tribe received some press when they gave Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao a tribal rank.[2] However, relations with settlers and their descendants isn't always harmonious; Ilonggo settlers reportedly clashed with some B'laan natives in March 2015.[3]

External links[edit]