Teduray supreme spiritual leader succumbs to lingering illness

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NEWS  • Mon Dec 26, 2016 01:21 PM  •  303   0
By John Unson
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The late Kamamal Kaadatan Orlando “Rendaw” Mosela is meditating at the foot of Uruk Firis in this file photo from his relatives.
The late Kamamal Kaadatan Orlando “Rendaw” Mosela is meditating at the foot of Uruk Firis in this file photo from his relatives.
COTABATO CITY  --- Maguindanao province is mourning the demise of the spiritual figurehead of the indigenous non-Moro Tedurays, regarded by Maguindanaon Muslims as their blood siblings. 

Kamamal Kaadatan Orlando “Rendaw” Mosela died last December 23 after a long bout with a lingering illness. 

The title Kamamal Kaadatan means supreme spiritual leader in the Teduray dialect. Mosela was also known as “Rendaw,” which means light in their vernacular.
 He was of pure ethnic Teduray descent who had served as Kamamal Kaadatan of their tribe for more than two decades.
 
The selection of the supreme religious leader of the Tedurays is based on a consensus by timuays (chieftains), after an extensive evaluation of the character and qualifications of each prospective successor. 

Teduray local officials in North Upi, Maguindanao said Mosela was a staunch supporter of various peace-building activities involving different organizations and local government units. 

Relatives of Mosela said he was buried at Lahangkeb, a highland area in Barangay Remfes in North Upi town, near the foot of the hilly Kansad Gadung, a tribal religious landmark overlooking a vast plateau in the center of the municipality. 

North Upi Mayor Ramon Piang, an ethnic Teduray chieftain, said they recognize the contributions of Mosela to the preservation of the cultural and religious identities of their tribe. 

Maguindanao’s adjoining North and South Upi towns are tribal domains of the Tedurays, the descendants of Mamalo, the brother of Tabunaway, the first ever pagan leaders of ancient Kuta Wato, now Cotabato City. 

Tabunaway embraced Islam when a foreign Islamic missionary, the Malay-Arab preacher Mohammad Kabunsuan, arrived at the Bucana area here from Johore in what is now Malaysia in the 14th century to spread Islam.

From Tabunaway's lineage sprung what are now Maguindanao's ethnic Maguindanaon and Iranun tribes.  

Mamalo decided to retain their traditional religious practices and relocated, along with his family and followers, in the hinterlands southwest of the now Maguindanao province. 

“We join our Teduray brothers and sisters in mourning the death of their supreme religious leader, Kamamal Kaadatan Mosela,” Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said in a statement emailed to selected reporters on Monday. 

Mangudadatu said he is trying his best to help Maguindanao’s Tedurays folks preserve their sacred ground, the Uruk Firis mountain range in the center of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi and South Upi towns all in the second district of the province.  

Fatima Kanakan, director of the regional office of the National Commission on Indigenous People in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they will initiate prayer rites for Mosela. 

“We are saddened by his demise,” Kanakan said.
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