While traveling in the Philippines in December, 2011, I stopped to visit a friend on Bohol named Chekei. She told me about a tribe in the mountains that few people visit called the Eskaya. I asked if she could take me to visit them. The next day we rode her father’s dirt bike into the mountains for over an hour, dodging blankets covered in rice laid on the road by villagers to dry in the sun. Chekei had told me that the Eskaya had unique customs and dances. It was quite the understatement.
They also have a unique oral history (or mythology depending on who you ask) dating back to biblical times. They believe that people originated from a butterfly called Pinya Paypay Pling. In some way (that is not clear to me) the butterfly interacted with a lion and lioness who gave birth to a monkey. That monkey mated with another and gave birth to the first humans. This is depicted in this educational chart from their school.
Much of their history is still only passed on orally, at the school, in their language. The elders in these pictures are among the few who continue to study the language and history. This man plays traditional folk songs on a ukulele-type instrument.