The Code of Kalantiaw was a mythical legal code in the epic story Maragtas. It is said to have been written in 1433 by Datu Kalantiaw, a chief on the island of Negros in the Philippines.

It was actually written in 1913 by Jose E. Marco as a part of his historical fiction Las antiguas leyendes de la Isla de Negros (Spanish, “The Ancient Legends of the Island of Negros”), which he attributed
to a priest named Jose Maria Pavon.

In 1917, the historian Josue Soncuya wrote about the Code of Kalantiaw in his book Historia Prehispana de Filipinas (“Prehispanic History of the Philippines”) where he moved the location of the Code’s origin from Negros to the Panay province of Aklan because he found out that it may be related to the Ati-atihan festival.

In 1968, the historian William Henry Scott discovered that the code was a forgery made by Jose E. Marco. Scott cited that the code does not exist in any early written Spanish records. He published hisfindings in his book Prehispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History and debunked the Code. Filipino historians later agreed to remove the code from future literature regarding Philippine history.

Tags : Society and Culture
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