HomeAdvancing Literature and Communication Researchvol. 1 no. 1 (2012)

Maranao Women as Portrayed in Selected Maranao Folktales

Maria Elena C. Reyes | Norlanie Mangotara Abdulmalic | Insirah Islao Matanog



 The study aimed to find out how Maranao women are portrayed in the selected Maranao folktales by using the cultural feminism approach. This literary study ascertained (1) the biological differences between Maranao men and Maranao women; (2) the struggles of the Maranao women; and (3) the roles Maranao women play in the formation of Maranao society. This study has shown that the biological differences between Maranao men and Maranao women are evidently shown through their gender differences as female and male. These differences were highlighted by the depiction of a Maranao woman’s capacity to conceive, bear, and rear a child which a man is incapable of. In a Maranao society, a woman is expected to provide an heir to her husband. Moreover, through the analyzed short folktales, it was revealed that despite of the patriarchal society, Maranao women played important roles in the formation of Maranao society. They have a social leadership function inside the clan. And more so, if she is holding a female royal title. Lastly, this study showed the struggles of Maranao woman in twofold: they struggle against the discrimination foisted upon them within their own communities, and they struggle against the Muslim stereotype when they step out of the confines of their family and tribe. Nevertheless, there seems to be a change in this traditional picture of Maranao woman, going from one extreme to the other, from a woman staying consciously at home to care for her children and wearing the “hijab” to a woman who is independent from her family.