Aeta(redirected from Aetas)
, term used for dark-skinned people who live in equatorial rain forests and average less than 59 in. (150 cm) in height. Some studies make a distinction between Negrillos, who live in Africa, and Negritos, who live in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the
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(in Russian also Atta, Inagta, and so on; they have no general self-designation), a group of Negroid tribes, short in stature, which constitutes the indigenous population of the Philippine Islands. They inhabit the mountain regions and the eastern part of Luzon. Small groups of Aeta also live in the interior of the Negros and Panay islands and the northeastern part of Mindanao. Several other Negroid groups on the islands of Mindoro and Palawan are also sometimes called Aeta. The population is approximately 50,000 (1967 estimate), more than 30,000 of whom are on the island of Luzon. They speak numerous dialects of the Indonesian group of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. Their religious concepts amount to a form of primitive animism. In addition to a hunting and gathering economy, agriculture is developed among the Aeta.