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Dark ages of the Visanyas

Some thousand years ago - and perhaps four or five thousand years before - were the islands, that would later receive the name of the Philippines (after King Philip II of Spain), sparsely populated with tribes, which are part of most of the Malay race.

Most people lived in small villages scattered all over the islands in the vicinity of river deltas. Their bamboo houses with palm leaf roofs were made on piles and they operated rice cultivation and fishing. More over, primitive people lived in the mountains of the interior of the islands. They were usually collectors and hunters.

Up to 1000 AD, contacts with the outside world were minimal, but in the following centuries, a continuoused growth of visits of Chinese, Indian, Arab and Indonesian traders were seen.

These traders brought pottery, textiles, iron weapons, tools, jewellery and trinkets to the islands, ostensibly to exchange them for pearls, coral and gold. However, it is more likely that they exchanged these goods to rice, dried fish and some artcraft objects. With these foreign visitors of the first time culture and civilization took place and held her move.

Around the 12th century the Chinese had settled permanently in the countryside. Politically, their influence was small but economically it was far greater. They procured certain prestige items that later became a ceremonial significance, pottery and metal objects, which are now found in ancient graves.

At the beginning of the 14th Century the Islam was introduced to the other dealers, which spread in a flash on the Sulu islands and penetrated to the north. The new faith united and strengthened the small sultanates, which later vigorously opposed the Spaniards and Americans.

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