Aga Khan Museum Mindanao – helping understand Maranao culture better

A Christian Perspective: Source

The Muslims in the Philippines have 13 ethno-linguistic groups, majority are located in Mindanao – my homeland.

The Maranao tribe (which means people of the lake) is the most visible of them primarily because many are engaged in trading. The Maranaos are also famous for their art works, sophisticated weaving, wood and metal craft and their epic literature.

It has been my privelege to personally witness how rich this culture is having spent 5 years of my life in a predominantly Muslim region of the country – the Islamic City of Marawi. Yep, I spent my college years in my beloved alma mater – the Mindanao State University.

It is however sad to say that not many are given the chance to experience and appreciate this and it is more unfortunate that this is because of the biases and prejudices we have as a people. Ah, the never-ending Mindanao conflict…

Anyway, as a Christian, I too have my biases – we were brought up that way. And some of these biases have basis. However, many of them also are baseless.

What helped me to understand the culture of my Maranao friends (and the Muslim Filipinos in general) was the Aga Khan Museum named in honor of King Aga Khan. The museum is located inside MSU (350 meters from the entrance) and serves as a repository for Maranao and other Moro artifacts.

Complete at the source

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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

9 thoughts

  1. I am an Ismaili, Muslim and live here in Cebu Philippines. I have never been to the museum but hearing from you and the comments that you have posted, motivate me to go and take a look and see what I could do to help the Maranao people to progress and become permanent leaders in Philippine Society. I will take a visit there and help find a solution. Contact me anytime if you would like to be a part of this project.


  2. Presidential Address at the First Anniversary of Mindanao University
    His Highness the Aga Khan
    November 24, 1963
    Mindanao, Philippines:

    The Universities in Damascus and Baghdad, and later those of Cairo, Tehran, Cordova and Istanbul were centres of learning unparalleled anywhere else. Even in those days, once the brute force of the armies had been withdrawn it was the power of the intellectual elite which took over and governed, ran and maintained the State.

    During the two Caliphates, the Muslim Universities were producing the best scholars, doctors, astronomers and philosophers. Today where are we? Have we institutions of learning which can compare with the Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, M.I.T.?

    God has given us the miracle of life with all its attributes: the extraordinary manifestations of sunrise and sunset, of sickness and recovery, of birth and death, but surely if He has given us the means with which to remove ourselves from this world so as to go to other parts of the Universe, we can but accept as further manifestations the creation and destructions of stars, the birth and death of atomic particles, the flighting new sound and light waves. I am afraid that the torch of intellectual discovery, the attraction of the unknown, the desire for intellectual self-perfection have left us. I fully realise that one needs today tools with which to extend the realms of man’s knowledge, and that generally speaking these tools are the possessions of the more advanced essentially Christian parts of the world.

    The full speech:


    1. Perhaps Hilario Camino Moncado is what you need.

      Aga Khan Named in honor of King(error only in spiritual world) Aga Khan who contributed to the realization of the museum. Historical development is banked on the large space where cultural materials where conserved. It has a huge, collection of indigenous art and recorded ethnic music tapes. It also highlights the native folk dances from different regions of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. The native tools and weapons used by the Muslims and different artistic designs of houses are the main attractions of museum.

      Moncado Colony Named in honor of Hilario Camino Moncado, a native Filipino, leader, an organizer, author of books and lecturer of humanities. He graduated with honors at the age of nine at India Collage of Mystery and Psychics. Moncado monuments and wild animals statues are located in the area.


  3. you know what… why not go to asian century museum in butuan before it travels to anohter place. it’s a place full of hopes for our country!!!


  4. Can you tell me I want to go Aga khan Museum in Mindanao city..Philippines I live here in Manila As a ismaili i would like to know about Aga khan Museum is still there


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