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A T'boli elderly woman in traditional attire.
|(Official population numbers are unknown.)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Christianity, Animist, and Pagan|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Austronesian people, and Filipino people|
The Tboli are one of the indigenous peoples of South Cotabato in Southern Mindanao. From the body of ethnographic and linguistic literature on Mindanao they are variously known as Tboli, T'boli, Tböli, Tiboli, Tibole, Tagabili, Tagabeli, and Tagabulu. They term themselves Tboli or T'boli. Their whereabouts and identity are somewhat imprecise in the literature; some publications present the Tboli and the Tagabili as distinct peoples; some locate the Tbolis to the vicinity of the Lake Buluan in the Cotabato Basin or in Agusan del Norte. The Tbolis, then, reside on the mountain slopes on either side of the upper Alah Valley and the coastal area of Maitum, Maasim and Kiamba. In former times, the Tbolis also inhabited the upper Alah Valley floor. After World War Two, i.e., since the arrival of settlers originating from other parts of the Philippines, they have been gradually pushed onto the mountain slopes. As of now, they are almost expelled from the fertile valley floor.
Like their immediate tribal neighbors, the Úbûs, Blàan, Blit, Tàú-Segél and, for those who have serious doubts in the hoax argumentation, the Tasaday, they have been variously termed hill tribes, pagans, animists, etc., as opposed to the indigenous Muslim peoples or the Christian settlers. In political contexts, however, the term Lumad groups (derived from the Cebuano term for native people) has become popular as a generic term for the various indigenous peoples of Mindanao.
The T'boli have a musical heritage consisting of various types of agung ensembles – ensembles composed of large hanging, suspended or held, bossed/knobbed gongs which act as drone without any accompanying melodic instrument.
- Mercurio, Philip Dominguez (2006). "Traditional Music of the Southern Philippines". PnoyAndTheCity: A center for Kulintang – A home for Pasikings. Retrieved November 21, 2006.