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Ethnographic Method Field Manual Feb 21 2015 Giz 022315 Pm (1)

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Text of Ethnographic Method Field Manual Feb 21 2015 Giz 022315 Pm (1)


FOREWORD(NCIP-Caraga & Chair)

I. INTRODUCTIONThis Field Manual is a tool guide for doing ancestral domain ethnography to meet the requirements of ancestral domain/land claims. It is intended to be used by NCIP personnel involved in Ancestral Domain delineation and recognition of Ancestral Domain claims with no formal training in ethnographic research. The objective of ancestral domain ethnography is to provide adequate ethnographic data as proof of time-immemorial possession and ownership of the claimed ancestral domain. Ancestral domain ethnography focuses on the ICC/IP claimants and their ancestral domain. As a social science method, it shall capture the dynamic relationships between the ICCs/IPs and their ancestral domains as well as the changes that have taken place.

When properly done, the resulting ancestral domain ethnography, as an example of applied anthropology, incorporates the various proofs of ownership of the ancestral domain as enumerated in Indigenous Peoples Rights Act IPRA R.A. 8371, its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), NCIP Administrative Order 04 of 2012, otherwise known as Revised Omnibus Rules on Delineation and Recognition of Ancestral Domain/Lands of 2012, to wit:

1. The testimony of elders or community under oath.2. Other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owner/s which shall be any one (1) of the following authentic documents:a. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions;b. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institutions;c. Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements, burial grounds, sacred places and old villages;d. Historical accounts, including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered by the ICCs/IPs concerned with ICCs/IPs;e. Survey plans and indicative maps;f. Anthropological data;g. Genealogical data;h. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds;i. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains, rivers, creeks, ridges, hills, terraces and the like; or j. Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community.

Similarly, the Ancestral Domain Ethnography also incorporates the information listed in Section 2, A04:

Sworn testimonies shall be given by at least four (4) elders/leaders, attesting among others to the following:

a. The identity of the ICCs/IPs, including their leaders and original settlers based on ethno-history;b. The fact that they have possessed, occupied, claimed and used the territory and the resources therein as AD/AL claim since time immemorial;c. The description of the metes and bounds or traditional landmarks of the AD/AL claimed, as well as the land use practiced;d. Customs and traditions related to land;e. Customary practices on boundary conflict resolutions;f. Landmarks and boundary markers (include survey plans and sketch maps);g. History including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries;h. Political structure and institutions and identity of leaders and original settlers.

As check lists, these are useful in specifying what information to get. By applying the ethnographic method, the bits and pieces of information covered by the checklists become a coherent picture and story of a distinct way of life, that of the ICC/IP claiming official recognition of their ancestral domain. Indeed, the ancestral domain ethnography becomes the proof of the collective indigenous identity of the claimants.[footnoteRef:1] [1: As a value added to ancestral domain ethnography, it could be use in developing the ADSDPP and as an instructional material for continuing IP education in the community as in the state educational system. ]

II. ETHNOGRAPHY AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE METHOD: From Checklists to Ancestral Domain Ethnography

The term ethnography comes from the Greek words ethnos meaning people and grapho meaning written description. Simply put, ethnography is a written description of the way of life of people. By academic tradition, as a social science method ethnography requires the researcher, who is usually alone, to live with the local people being studied for a reasonably long period of time, sometimes lasting a year or more. This gives the researcher sufficient opportunities to study firsthand the people as they go through their everyday lives. In appropriate cases the researcher may participate in some of the activities, for example, rituals associated with the economic activities (site selection in kaingin, planting, harvesting), rites of passage (birth, naming of a child, puberty, marriage, death and traditional healing). This is referred to as participant-observation.

Beyond participant-observation, ethnography is also about understanding the meanings that the peoples have of their beliefs and practices. For this reason, it is necessary for the researcher to be able to communicate with the people in their own language. If the researcher is not a native speaker of the local language, it is necessary to have a qualified interpreter. Meanwhile, the researcher should learn the local language. Knowledge of the language will enable the researcher to describe and analyze in depth particularly key concepts about the relationships between and among human beings, and relationships with the natural world as well as the supernatural world.

In the case of NCIP, the researchers, in most cases, are themselves members of indigenous cultural communities and so may not require long-term and protracted stay in the field. Besides, in relation to the NCIP mandate, the ancestral domain ethnography is not exactly a full-blown ethnographic study. It is a problem-oriented study of the land and people, focused on sufficient of time immemorial possession and occupation of their ancestral domain. This could be done not by one person, but by NCIP with the full participation of CADT and CALT claimants, with appropriate capacity-building in using this Field Manual.


1. Geography and People. Immediately, it is important to point out that the names of ethnolinguistic groups usually indicate the direct relationship of land and people. For example, Tagalog refers to people of the river; Sugbohanon refers to the people of the river; Tausog refers to people of the current; Igorot refers to people of the hills; Bukidnon refer to people of the mountains. Clearly, most names and identities of peoples attest to the initial intimate relationship between people and certain elements of physical geography. In the historical development of peoples, however, some have moved away from this intimate conceptual and practical connection to the land. With increasing rapid industrialization and urbanization, more and more people are losing their direct connection with the land and specially their spiritual connection with the world of nature. Others up to this day have persisted in their intimate relationship to the traditional land of their birth, now referred to as their Ancestral Domain. With various degrees of success, these groups resisted colonization and westernization. Now, as ICCs and IPs, they continue to adhere to their indigenous identity and their ancestral domain while confronting a rapidly globalizing world. This section on geography and people is a detailed description of the ancestral domain, noting its exact location and traditional boundaries on the community/cultural map. This should be done with the active participation of the local people. Use local terms for describing their traditional and natural boundaries and not the existing political boundaries. Physical Terrain: relationship of the ancestral domain to the geographic region, traditional territorial boundary and boundary markers, water bodies, plain, hilly, forested, rugged, denuded, etc. Settlement Patterns: Dense or clustered, sparse or scattered, linear, grid; housingmaterials used, types (e.g. floating on logs), special purpose buildings (e.g. for ritual, justice hall, long house) and recent developments due to urbanization and modernization. Determination of the ethnolinguistic group to which the community belongs: how do they call themselves; how are they called by others; what is the native language (e.g. Manobo, Binukid) and other languages spoken by the people (e.g. Cebuano, Ilonggo). Briefly describe the language situation that has been brought about by culture contact, education, intermarriages between and among ethnolinguistic groups and other factors.

2. Ethno-cultural Data Local Geography. This is the geographical description of the ancestral domain settlements of the claimants with specific description of traditional boundaries and markers. The description should include stories, legends and historical accounts such as peace pacts related to the traditional boundary markers as well as other culturally significant ecological features (e.g. rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, streams, forests, mountains, rocks and caves). The local geography should also include man-made structures roads, bridges, religious buildings/churches, educational facilities, local government buildings, water system, communication system, market, shopping centers, etc. Local History relates the origin of the communitywho were the first settlers and how the community changed over the years, events that had taken place that have affected the lives of the people like epidemics, entry of other groups like the migrant settlers, commercial industries (logging, mining, plantation, etc.) Where available, archaeological data may also be used as evidence of time-immemorial habitation e.g. buri

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