Datus, Rajahs, and Sultans: How Wealthy and Powerful Were the Pre-Colonial Filipino Nobility?

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Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Town and Country PH 20190121

via Town and Country PH, 21 January 2019: Clothing and symbols of power in pre-colonial Philippines.

While the Europeans considered gold and land as the standard of economic wealth especially in the age of mercantilism in the 1500s, the Filipino datus, who had a natural abundance of both land and gold in their domains, considered people to be the most important symbol of wealth and power. According to Abinales and Amoroso, this was the result of the Philippines’ abundance of natural resources and shortage of human resources.

It was crucial for datus to maintain control and accumulate dependents and alliances to maintain their power, around which society was built at the time.

Source: Datus, Rajahs, and Sultans: How Wealthy and Powerful Were the Pre-Colonial Filipino Nobility? | T&C Ph

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