By Teng L. Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Cotabato City — The Bureau of Cultural Heritage of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Grupo Kalinangan Inc. signed recently a Memorandum of Agreement to provide and share resources for the digitization of 17th to early 20th century Maranao Jawi and Kirim manuscripts in the Islamic City of Marawi and the Lake Lanao region.
The project aims at digitizing manuscripts that contain genealogies, or salsilah, of prominent families; religious books, or kitab, and treatises; as well as epic and short stories that highlight some of the most important records and turning points in the history of the Maranao people.
The project to save the manuscripts was conceived because of the Marawi Siege in 2017, and forms part of the overall restoration and rehabilitation work for Marawi City.
Through the project, Maranao people will have better awareness and appreciation on the importance of their heritage and will create an environment of learning for the young Maranaos as part of their recovery from their educational displacement due to the siege.
“There is a loss (during the Marawi Siege) that cannot be accounted for, and it is the heirloom of the Maranao families,” said Engr. Marites Maguindra, executive director of BCH-ARMM.
Joel Aldor, president of GKI, said the project also aims at making these digitized manuscripts more available to researchers, academicians, and scholars who want to further study the life and heritage of the Maranao people.
GKI is a non-profit, non-stock cultural organization based in Manila and established in 2016. It is composed of cultural heritage professionals and volunteers from diverse backgrounds. It seeks to address the gaps and needs for a more efficient and effective cultural heritage management in towns, cities and communities. (with reports from bpi armm)