The Ati is a Negrito ethnic group in Panay, which is located in the Visayas (Islands of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Leyte, Samar, Panay, Masbate, Negros and Guimaras), the central portion of the Philippine archipelago. They are genetically-related to other Negrito ethnic groups in the Philippines such as the Aeta of Luzon, the Batak of Palawan, and the Mamanwa of Mindanao.
In the Philippines the Aetas or Ati ancestors were the ‘aboriginals’ or the ‘first’ inhabitants of this Archipelago. They most probably arrived from Borneo 20-30,000 years ago, through what is thought to be an isthmus (remnants of which today comprise the island of Palawan) that in the prehistoric epoch connected the Philippine archipelago to Borneo via a land bridge. According to some oral traditions, they also predate the Bisaya, who now inhabit most of the Visayas.
Legends, such as those involving the Ten Bornean Datus and the Binirayan Festival, tell tales about how, at the beginning of the 12th century, the…