This page makes available information about the Tasaday, a small group of former hunter-gatherers who live in the rain forests of South Cotabato, in Mindanao, Philippines. When first reports were made of these people in 1971, they were living in rock shelters and had had very limited contact with outsiders. Although many have claimed that the Tasaday are a hoax, noone who has made the effort to live with the group and to interact with them in their own language is in any doubt about their existence, or of the veracity of the claims that they still maintain about their past. The materials presented here document my efforts to determine, as far as is possible from examining their language, what their condition was prior to their first major contact with outsiders. Included here are three papers that I have presented at linguistics conferences, transcriptions and translations of audio tapes that were made of the Tasaday shortly after their first contact, a set of images of the Tasaday then and now, and a fairly comprehensive bibliography of writings about them (still in preparation).
There are a number of other websites
that offer commentary on the Tasaday. Some of these sites have
accepted uncritically the hoax claims that have appeared in the
literature. Others have attempted to provide a neutral stance
on the issues involved. This is the only site that provides evidence
to support the claim for Tasaday authenticity.
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1999© Lawrence A. Reid