Teduray people
Tew Teduray
Teduray girls at Meguyaya Festival of Upi.
Total population
138,646 (2020 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
(Bangsamoro, Soccsksargen)
Maguindanaon • Filipino • English
Predominantly Traditional Religion,
Minority Sunni Islam, Christianity (Mostly Catholic)
Related ethnic groups
Maguindanaon, Lumad,
Sama-Bajau, other Moro people, Visayans,
other Filipinos, Malay people
other Austronesian people

The Teduray, also called Tiruray or Tirurai, are a Filipino ethnic group. They speak the Tiruray language. Their name may have come from words tew, meaning people, and duray, referring to a small bamboo hook and a line used for fishing.[2]

The Tiruray (Teduray) culture was studied at length in the 1960s by anthropologist Stuart A. Schlegel. Schlegel spent two years as a participant/observer among a group who lived in and was sustained by the rainforest. He was profoundly moved by the egalitarian society he witnessed, and went on to write several books and papers on the subject, including Wisdom of the Rainforest: The Spiritual Journey of an Anthropologist.

Ancestral land

The Teduray ancestral homeland is considered sacred.[3] The Teduray, together with the indigenous Lambangian people, originate from the Agusan, Davao and Lanao regions, the province of Bukidnon, and in the cities of Davao and Zamboanga.[2] The Teduray, Lambiangan, and Manobo have jointly applied for recognition of their ancestral domain covering 289,268 hectares of land comprising the municipalities of Upi, South Upi, Ampatuan, Shariff Aguak, Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi, Guindulungan, Talayan, and Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao Province and portions of Esperanza, Lebak, Bagumbayan, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Kalamansig, and Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat Province and the city of Cotabato where the indigenous groups are predominantly situated.[4]


Main article: Teduray language

Teduray speak their eponymous native Teduray language, which is related to their neighboring Blaan, Tboli and Maguindanaon languages with little or no mutual intelligibility between them at all.[5] [6] Over the years, however, like their Blaan and Tboli neighbors, many Teduray can speak and understand Maguindanaon, Tagalog as well as Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Ilocano, with the latter four were brought and introduced by these ethnolinguistic settlers from Tagalog-speaking provinces, Central Luzon, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Ilocandia upon their arrival into Teduray homelands during the early 20th century, who in turn learned Teduray language upon contact with these indigenous tribe such as intermarriage.

Teduray indigenous religion




  1. ^ "Ethnicity in the Philippines (2020 Census of Population and Housing)". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "The Teduray". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  3. ^ McKinsey, Kitty (October 10, 2011). "Mindanao's indigenous people ask UNHCR's help to gain their rights - UNHCR Philippines". UNHCR. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  4. ^ Benitez, Jules L. (2010-10-03). "Teduray and Lambangian peoples call for 2nd tribal congress". MindaNews. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  5. ^ "Tiruray | Ethnic Groups of the Philippines". www.ethnicgroupsphilippines.com. Retrieved 2023-10-10.
  6. ^ https://ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca-3/subcommissions/subcommission-on-cultural-communities-and-traditional-arts-sccta/central-cultural-communities/the-teduray/
  7. ^ a b c d Schlegel, S. A. (1999). Wisdom from a Rainforest: The Spiritual Journey of an Anthropologist. the University of Georgia Press.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Wood, G. L. (1957). Philippine Sociological Review Vol. 5, No. 2: The Tiruray. Philippine Sociological Society.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tenorio, J., Stuart A. Schlegel, S. A. (1970). Philippine Studies Vol. 18, No. 2: The Customs of the Tiruray People. Ateneo de Manila University