Contact with the Tasaday in 1971-72

To get a feeling for the Tasaday when contacted watch the films, Last Tribes of Mindanao and Cave People of the Philippines. Last Tribes shows the Tasaday at contact with Manuel Elizalde and describe the situation on the island of Mindanao. Cave People was completed a year later, after several contacts had been made. Viewing these films gives a sense of the situation, the nature of the Tasaday at contact, the character of Manuel Elizalde, and what was known about Tasaday history at the time. Pay attention to the demeanor of the Tasaday in these films.

More on Tasaday history is found at The Friends of the Tasaday web site. Click on Timeline.

[Elizalde with

    Last Tribes of Mindanao,

    filmed, June 1971

    Major Segments

  • the setting, guerilla warfare on the Island of Mindanao, tribal peoples as victims

  • introduction to the tribal peoples being helped by Manuel Elizalde

  • presentation of Manuel Elizalde's character

  • Barrio Tboli, an approach of Elizalde's to give tribes the tools for self-determination

  • scenes showing first contacts with Tasaday

  • Elizalde's home, business connections, and work with Philippine minorities in Manila

Photo of Manuel Elizalde with Balayem. Copyright by John Nance, with permission.

Cave People of the Philippines,

filmed, August 1972

    Major Segments

  • greeting NBC's Jack Reynolds at the caves

  • Dafal's influence on the Tasaday

  • the length of time out of contact

  • introduction of Sindi, a wife for Belayem

  • birth of the 27th Tasaday

  • threats from outsiders, the future,

    and the problems facing the Tasaday

[Tasaday with
stone axe]

Photo of a Tasaday gathering and eating nuts and ginger. Copyright by John Nance, with permission.

Comparison between the Tasaday as portrayed in the two films.

Last TribesCave People
shy outgoing
timid confident
reserved open
fearful friendly
uninterested animated
apprehensive caring
skeptical affectionate
scared comfortable
unsure energetic
quiet relaxed

"Original" Tasaday - August 1972

malefemalemale childrenfemale children
Bilangan Itut 5 0
Tikaf Ginon 0 0
Kuletow Sikey 2 0
Udelen Dul 2 0
Lefonok none 1 1
Mahayag Dula 2 1
BelayemSindi0 0
7 6 12 2

To Tasaday Topics

Updated:Tuesday, 19-Feb-2013 21:01:38 PST
Court Smith, Oregon State University