HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 38-39 no. 1-2 (1994)

Traditional Institutions and Western Colonization: The Case of the Maranaos in Marawi City

Teresita B. B. Barcenas

Discipline: Philippine History



Traditional institutions in Marawi City are, to a considerable extent, shaped and influenced by historical forces and events. This paper takes into account the pressures and strains exerted on the traditional institutions in Marawi as a result of foreign intervention. It seeks to explore the alterations that have occurred in the past and are still occurring in the present as a result of changes in political relations and processes. It aims to provide insights into the effects and consequences of these developments on Marawi City and its people. Understanding the Maranaos and their role in Philippine history is vital to our continuing search for effective solutions to the Mindanao problem. In the coming years, the national government will be continually faced with many decisions and choices in its attempt to formulate policies designed to accelerate changes in Mindanao. The decisions made will have full consequences for the future of the Muslims in our country.


The time frame envisioned in this paper is the period starting from the early contacts with the Maranaos in 1639 until 1895 when the last punitive expedition was sent to the area around Lake Lanao. Another phase of Maranao history is the period of American rule which brought about the superimposition of a Western concept of government on the traditional institutions, together with the introduction of a new political framework and the gradual institutionalization of new political forms and processes. It further proceeds to uncover the events and developments which contributed to the reassertion of traditional leadership with the establishment of the Commonwealth Government.