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The Balangingi Samal: The global economy, maritime raiding and diasporic identities in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines

Warren, J.F. (2003) The Balangingi Samal: The global economy, maritime raiding and diasporic identities in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines. Asian Ethnicity, 4 (1). pp. 7-29.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14631360301641
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Abstract

In the early nineteenth century, an entire ethnic group, the Samal Balangingi of the Sulu-Mindanao region, specialised in state-sanctioned maritime raiding, attacking Southeast Asian coastal settlements and trading vessels. This paper traces the process of the formation of the Samal Balangingi as an ethnic group comprised of 'pirates' and their captives, and their continued sense of belonging to the island stronghold of Balangingi, even after its inhabitants were forcefully resettled between 1848 and 1858. The paper also stresses just how critical the Spanish resettlement policy directed against the deported Samal Balangingi was for their future cultural and social life. It highlights the inextricable relationship between maritime raiding, slavery, forced migration, 'homeland' and cultural identity as being critical factors that led to the emergence of new ethnicities and diasporas. By highlighting the problems of self-definition and the reconstruction of identities and the meaning of homeland and lost places, as a revealing social and psychological process in its own right, the case of the Samal Balangingi challenges lineal notions of history and bounded static conceptions of 'culture' and ethnic groups that were imposed, imagined and maintained by Europeans both prior to and after colonisation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: 2003 Taylor and Francis Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/18155
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