[New from the Press] The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515-1903: Continuity and Change in a Traditional Realm in the Southern Philippines
03 Apr 2023 | Ateneo University Press
New book The Rulers of Magindanao, 1515-1903 explores the rich history of Magindanao Sultanate
Author Datu Michael Ong Mastura dives deep into the history of the Magindanao Sultanate in the new book, The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515-1903: Continuity and Change in a Traditional Realm in the Southern Philippines. The book opens with the question, "How likely was it that the ancient Filipinos developed a concept of statehood at pre-colonial contact?" From there, Mastura draws on various sources, including the luwaran (code) and tarsila (genealogy) to reconstruct a dynastic history of the southern Philippines across 388 years.
The book’s multidisciplinary approach combines ethnography, history, and politics to offer a nuanced portrait of the rulers of Magindanao. It is a Braudelian longue durée, examining the ecological, economic, political, and cultural attributes of individual actors and their social settings.
The Rulers of Magindanao shows the conjunctural breaks in Magindanao sultanate politics, highlighting the continuity and resilience of its “traditional authority.” The book also presents how the sultanates were exceptional regimes that took the war into Spanish colonial territory. It attests to the Southeast Asian connections of these Moro polities and their cosmopolitan society, which established trade links and formed political alliances with neighboring mandalas.
In the foreword, Patricio N. Abinales, author of Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State, praises Mastura's work as an "exceptional, much-awaited" addition to the literature on Mindanao. Abinales writes, "With the publication of The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515–1903, there is no more reason for any Filipino or Moro scholar not to teach courses on Magindanao and Moro histories."
The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515-1903 is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Magindanao Sultanate. It is a significant contribution to Moro and Mindanao scholarship and is essential for any attempt to write and teach the history of the island and its diverse peoples.
The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515-1903: Continuity and Change in a Traditional Realm in the Southern Philippines by Datu Michael Ong Mastura is published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press. The book retails at PHP 725 and is available at unipress.ateneo.edu and the Press’s official Lazada and Shopee stores.
About the Author
Datu Michael Ong Mastura is a direct descendant of Sultan Muhammad Dipatwan Kudarat of the Magindanao Sultanate. Educated and trained as a lawyer, he was responsible for the codification project of the Muslim Personal Laws that established the Shar’ia Court in the country and was invited as amicus curiae at the Supreme Court. He is founder and president of Sultan Mumammad Dipatuan Kudarat Islamic Academy Foundation College.
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