Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Unmasking the Great Kingdoms of Ancient Philippines: The Namayan Kingdom

Madayaw, my peeps!
I have a YouTube channel! It is called Maita Unmasks History! A channel dedicated to unmasking little-known facts in history. If you want to see more, just subscribe and follow my Channel. I have Historic Tidbits on Thursday on my Instagram.
Today we will be talking about one of the oldest Kingdoms of the Philippines. This will be a 3-part series so please watch out for the others.

My name is Maita and I hope you enjoy this.
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The Namayan Kingdom became the dominant force in the Pasig Delta in the 10th Century AD and ceased to exist in the 16th Century just before the Spanish invasion. Where exactly is this Kingdom located? It is in central Luzon where present-day Metro Manila sits. Its capital was called Sapa, now Sta. Ana de Sapa, Manila, and it stretched all the way to Mandaluyong. Pasay takes its name from a prominent Namayan Princess, who inherited and reigned over what is now Pasay, Baclaran and Paranaque.
Also called the kingdom of Sapa or Maysapan, it was noted to be one of the older recorded inhabitants of Maynila. There were many kingdoms in Philippines around and before the Namayans. They traded with each other and often against each other. What is significant about the Namanyan is that the kingdom was divided into major barangays that still bear the name or is still recognized by the locals today. Some of those names are now major cities in Metro Manila.
  • -          Maysapan (The Royal Seat of Sapa, now Sta. Ana)
  • -          Meycatmon
  • -          Calatondangan
  • -          Dongos
  • -          Dibag
  • -          Pinacauasan
  • -          Yamagtogon
  • -          Malate
  • -          Dilao (Now called Paco)
  • -          Pandacan
  • -          Sampaloc
  • -          Pinaglamayan (Mandaluyong)
  • -          Taytay
  • -          Sampaloc
  • -          Quiapo
  • -          Pateros
  • -          Taguig
  • -          Paranaque
  • -          Makati
  • -          Pasay

The kingdom relied heavily on trade especially with China, Brunei and India. An influx of goods came in to the Pasig but the Tondo area was also known to produce goods for trades like Pina cloth, embroidery, masonry, tinapa or dried fish, cigars, bricks and sugar. Because the Namayans became a superpower, they monopolized the influx of Chinese goods entering the area.
Preceding the Rajanate of Tunduk, which had heavy Indian influences, The Namayans were mainly Muslim. Tunduk leaders follow a mix of Hindu-Buddhist beliefs. The Indo-Malayan blood of the Namayans or Maysapans still had some Indian-inspired beliefs but due to intermarriages with Bornean kingdoms and Sulu, they were Muslims by the 12th Century.

Fun Facts!
So what else do we know of our long-gone ancestors? Apparently, they don’t wear bahag or G-strings. Many records describe the inhabitants as “Enlightened People.” They had sophisticated tastes. The ladies’ clothing styles were rich in design and very varied. This sketch is an 11th century approximation of what a typical noble or royalty would wear. They had fabrics of cotton and silk coming from all over Asia. Embroidery and prints were a major trade in Namayan itself. These ladies would be at the height of fashion and due to the conservative nature of the Islamic faith, they would have long skirts and long blouses. Paper fans brought by Chinese and gold from the north were common accessories. Ladies had parasols or ornate sukud or Salakots to protect their skin from the sun. Even back then, we loved moon-white skin.

Hat of the day!
Since I am not at home, I have left my collections of hats. No worries. I’ll draw my hat of the day.
This is a S’loung. Mainly, it is a salakot covered with fabric, embellished and beaded. This headdress is worn by ladies of high birth to protect them when they go out. It was used not just to protect their skin from the sun but protect them from unwarranted attentions. It was said that envious people could send a curse to Princesses so their identity is hidden under the fabric. They either were carried by their bodyguards or guided by their maids.

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