HomeHCDC Faculty Research Journalvol. 10 no. 1 (2008)

Indigenous Practices of Maternal and Child Health Care Among the Manobo-Matigsalug Tribe in Sitio Simsimon, Barangay Kalagangan, Valencia , Bukidnon

Arnulfo B. Ramos

Discipline: Nursing



The study was conducted to document the native knowledge, beliefs and practices on maternal and child health care along the areas of pregnancy, dietary systems, birthing, feeding, baptismal rituals, illnesses and discipline among the Manobo-Matigsalug tribe in Sitio Simsimon, Barangay Kalagangan, Valencia, Bukidnon. A few scholars have done studies about the tribe but no one has thoroughly conducted a comprehensive one along these issues. This study is ethnographic in design. The manner of presentation is descriptive and narrative. The gathering and interpretations of the data were obtained from actual fieldwork. Key informant in depth interview, participant observation and photography were triangulated in this study. Participants were the traditional healers, tribal leaders, mothers and children. A total of seven months was allocated in the conduct of this study. The Manobo-Matigsalug pregnant women observe several taboos in orders to protect the infants’ lives and health. They consult the Babaylan, their traditional birth attendant. In their culture, the children’s health in the womb depends on how the mothers take care of themselves, hence, they must be free from worries and stressful activities. To be assured of the babies’ good health, the choice of food is a very important factor to be observed. When the mother finally gives birth, the whole community knows. The relatives and neighbors come to see and welcome the newly born baby who is considered as the center of care and affection. The Manobo-Matigsalug mothers need adequate knowledge in hygiene and nutrition to improve their maternal and child health care. The local government should support the tribe in developing the uses of herbal plants in their area. The tribe needs information to be guided in the improvement of their life. Further studies about other tribal groups in Mindanao are also encouraged.