/min'deuh nah"oh, -now"/; Sp. /meen'dah now"/, n.the second largest island of the Philippines, in the S part of the group. 10,908,730; 36,537 sq. mi. (94,631 sq. km).
* * *Island (pop., 2000: 16,136,921), southern Philippines.The second largest island in the Philippines, it has an area of 36,537 sq mi (94,630 sq km); it is 324 mi (521 km) long and 293 mi (471 km) wide. It is mountainous and contains active volcanoes, including Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. The rare monkey-eating eagle is unique to the island. Islam spread throughout Mindanao in the 16th century. It was visited by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. It was later claimed by Spain, but the resistance of its Muslim inhabitants kept it largely independent of Spanish authority. The autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao, in the western and southwestern portions of the island, was created in 1990.
* * *island, the second largest (after Luzon) in the Philippines, in the southern part of the archipelago, surrounded by the Bohol (Bohol Sea), Philippine (Philippine Sea), Celebes (Celebes Sea), and Sulu (Sulu Sea) seas. Irregularly shaped, it measures 293 miles (471 km) north to south and 324 miles (521 km) east to west. The island is marked by peninsulas and is heavily indented by the Davao and Moro gulfs in the south and by Iligan Bay in the north. The long, semicircular Zamboanga Peninsula (west) extends southwesterly toward the Sulu Archipelago and Borneo, and the Cotabato and Surigao peninsulas extend south and north, respectively.Rugged, faulted mountains and volcanoes occur in many areas. Mount Apo (Apo, Mount), at 9,691 feet (2,954 m), is an active volcano in the southern part of the central highlands; it is the highest peak in the Philippines. The island has narrow coastal plains, and broad, fertile basins and extensive swamps are formed by the Mindanao and Agusan river systems. Lake Sultan Alonto (formerly called Lake Lanao (Lanao, Lake)), created by a lava dam, has an area of 134 square miles (347 square km). The island has a marsh-game refuge and bird sanctuary. The rare Philippine eagle is found on Mindanao.Mindanao is a Muslim outpost in the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines. Although Muslims are no longer a majority, Islāmic culture is evident; there are many mosques, and distinctive brassware, including the kris, or dagger, is manufactured. The autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao—consisting of territory in western and southwestern Mindanao along with a number of nearby islands, including Tawitawi and Jolo—was established in 1990.Mindanao also has the largest concentration of ethnic minorities in the Philippines. They include the Magindanaw, Maranaw, Ilanum, and Sangil; all are Muslim groups known collectively as the Moro. Groups usually found in the uplands include the Tagabili, Subanon, Bukidnon, Bagobo, Mandaya, and Manobo. Another important group is the Tiruay, whose religion is a mixture of Christian, Muslim, and animist beliefs.Because of its large expanses of undeveloped fertile land, Mindanao has been considered the nation's “pioneer frontier.” It did not experience substantial population increase until migration was promoted after 1939. The chief crops are corn (maize), rice, abaca, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts. Cotton, ramie (a fibre plant), coffee, and cacao are also grown. The timber industry is important, and there are gold, nickel, iron, and coal deposits. Chartered cities include Zamboanga City, Cotabato City, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and Butuan. Area 36,537 square miles (94,630 square km). Pop. (2007 prelim.) 21,073,500.
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