The Tagakaulo people are located on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. They number over 100,000 and reside in primarily three provinces: Saranggani, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental. Before the 1980s the Tagakaulo in the Municipality of Malungon (and perhaps other areas of the region) referred to themselves as Kalagan, and they were known as Tagakaulo only by “outsiders.” Tagakaulo means ‘people of the headwaters.’ And so, in most of the linguistic data collected before the 1980s and other written material, the Tagakaulo were referenced under the name Kalagan (Ethnologue code: KLG).


Data collection areas:

The data contained in this dictionary has been collected over a period of 6o+ years, dating from 1953 to the present time. It continues to be a “work in progress.” The data is taken from natural texts, recordings, elicitations, and translated material.

The primary data collection areas are where the Lumabat, Dimuluk, and Mainit Rivers come together in the Municipality of Malungon at a place that was called Lumabat in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, these areas are the Barangays of Lower Mainit, Ampon, Tamban, and Lutay.

Over several years, lexical data was collected from Kalagan speakers. Then in January, 1983, the first Tagakaulo Kalagan Dictionary was published. It was a root-based dictionary and used an older writing system which is now obsolete. Subsequent data collection was done in Barangay Panamin), then in Sitio Selep Barangay San Juan, and lastly in much of the Tagakaulo area including the Municipalities of Malita and Santa Maria, as well as the Municipality of Malungon.

This dictionary is dedicated to the Tagakaulo Kalagan to help preserve their language. In the future, in addition to more words, we would like to add sound bites, illustrations, photos, and video to the various entries where appropriate, making this lexical database available to listeners as well as readers.