According to Opena (1982) the Matigsalug are mostly small in stature with dark brown complexion and curly hair. Traditional wear is a long sleeved jacket with knee length pants and head gears embellished with horse’s hair and beads for men. Women wear mid-length blouses with a skirt and strands of beads attached to wooden disks on their ears. Their clothes are colorfully embroidered with geometric patterns.
The life of an animistic revolves around a spirit world. They maintain that spirits live in water, land, trees, and rocks. Tragedies like illnesses, drought and death are caused by angry spirits. Events like planting crops and revenge-taking (called “pangayaw”) are preceded by rituals. Life is preoccupied with appeasing the spirits by offering sacrifices. Eggs, rice, corn, coins bracelets, anklets and betel nuts are placed on an altar, and the Datu, while calling on the spirits, slits the throat of a chicken and offers the blood. It is very difficult to convince people who been practicing such things for many generations that it is wrong.
The name “Matigsalug” is a construction of Matig and Salug. Matig means from (a place of origin or residence) in various Filipino languages, followed by the specific place of origin or residence. Hence, Matigsalug means from Salug (River). The Matigsalug epic Ulod, provided a definite identity of these IPs which was documented by Manuel(1956).