Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1522 Visayan timawa
Subject: timawa warrior
Culture: Visayan
Setting: Visayas 16thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Junker 1999 p124
"The nonchiefly elite, referred to as timawas and hidalgos (Sp. 'knights') in the Boxer manuscript (1590), nobleza (Sp. 'the third rank of nobility') by Alcina (1688), maharlika ('great, noble') by Plasencia (1589), and maginoo ('noble in lineage or parentage') by San Buenaventura (1613), occupied with the datu this upper tier in the social hierarchy.  This nobility was generally composed of those sharing the chief's high-status genealogy, such as his brothers, cousins, and affines, although others with more remote kin ties, fictive kin relations, specialized skills, or exceptional ambition could rise to serve as 'personal vassals' of the datu.  They aided him in military campaigns (including outfitting themselves with weapons at their own expense, navigating boats for maritime raids, and participating in raiding activities), they organized and attended datu-sponsored feasts (including ensuring against treachery by the hosts or guests through wine tasting), they participated in maritime trade expeditions sponsored by the datu, they arranged for the chief's 'ransom' if her were taken captive in warfare, and they enforced the funeral taboos at the chief's death.  In return for this support, members of the elite rank shared in the material wealth (including slaves) obtained in datu-sponsored raiding and trading, in the public esteem accorded to successful warriors, and in the chief's obligations to protect them and their families from harm both within and outside the datu's district of control."  [references omitted]

​* Junker 1999 p126-127
"The nonchiefly elite in the Visayas, termed 'timawa' by Loarca (1582), by Morga (1609), and in the sixteenth-century Boxer manuscript (1590) and as the 'third rank of nobility' by Alcina (1688...) were likely the offspring or descendants of a datu's secondary wives.  Their position in social status hierarchies is described by Morga.  'What the chiefs received from their followers was to be held by them in great veneration and respect. ...  The descendants of such chiefs, and their relatives, even though they did not inherit the lordship, were held in the same respect and consideration.  Such were all regarded as nobles, and as persons exempt from the services rendered by the others, or the plebians, who were called 'timaguas.'  The same right of nobility and chieftainship was preserved for the women, just as for the men.'  As summarized by Scott, the timawa served as personal vassals to the datus, with their most important role as warriors who accompanied the datu into battle, although they were also the primary contributors to chiefly feasts, they assisted in chiefly marriage negotiations and death rites, and they generally accrued significant ritual potency, political power, and wealth through their association with the chief.  Like the Tagalog maginoo and maharlika, they were largely exempt from the agricultural duties and other tribute-producing activities of the commoner and slave classes.  However, unlike the Tagalog-speaking chiefdoms of the northern Philippines, the position of timawa as 'men of consequence' in the community did not generally translate into independently inheritable wealth and status.  While these warrior elites could acquire slaves and amass considerable material wealth through trading and raiding activities, their children's inheritance of these status accoutrements was controlled by the chief."  [references omitted]