On Datu Ali's Trail (continued)

The Cotabato Basin

    In 1904 the Cotabato Basin was the home of the Maguindanaos, the "people of the flood plain." The Christian Filipino and Chinese minorities were largely confined to the city of Cotabato. Roadless, it's vast and confusing network of waterways and trails and nearby jungles and mountainous high plateaus provided ample cover for Datu Ali to wage a cat and mouse game with the U.S. Army.

A color-tinted photographic postcard of the rich and productive fields

Another postcard of river transportation

Datu Piang at his home in Dulawan

Maguindanaos at the Dulawan, one of two "concentration points"

Kudarangan, the American encampment across the Rio Grande from Dulawan

The blockhouse and tents at Kudarangan

Below are five scenes of a thriving river market, c1902-03, before river commerce was effectively shut down by General Wood's campaigns against Datu Ali

(Photographs from the National Archives)

Below, Maguindanao followers of Datu Ali before the conflict