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Editorial decision sent by the guest editor Phillip Endicott to Dr. Sabino Padilla
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Re: Abe Padilla: Anthropology and GIS: Temporal and Spatial Distribution of the Philippine Negrito Groups

Dear Dr. Padilla,

This paper has some excellent content on the history of negrito populations as well as providing a much-needed GIS approach to the their geographical location in the Philippine through time. The impact of the manuscript would benefit from a slight re organisation of the content and additional emphasis on the important contribution that GIS can make to the study of negrito hypothesis. In particular, there needs to be a clearly defined “Introduction,” which should be separate from the literature review on the mapping and anthropology of the Philippines; the latter could be regarded as a “Background” section. The Introduction should include something on how this paper will build on the work of the past and use it to transform geographical location data into a powerful new tool. It is also where a wider regional setting for the negritos should be placed, whose focus should be mainly on the Philippines. I was though fascinated by the referral to similar phenotypes in the Malaccas, which has echoes in other early literature including Wallace, and this part might be useful in the Introduction.

The “Background” section would profit from becoming a little more succinct, giving more emphasis to those particular historical studies to be used in the GIS approach. Perhaps some of the earliest accounts could then be used in the Introduction. The GIS methods section can become the “Materials and Methods” section followed by “Results and Discussion.” Whether there needs to be a separate “Conclusion” I would leave up to you, but I’m sure that once the Discussion is seen in relation to the maps then the impact of the work will become more apparent. Nevertheless, there is a need to emphasize the findings of the comparative exercise and revisit the aims of the Introduction regarding the potential for GIS studies to be applied to many different disciplines.

The problem of definition and the term negrito is rightfully acknowledged by the author, and is central to the concept of this double-issue overall. So, it would be unfair to expect this study to resolve it, but there is a need to examine the issue of definition in more detail and with more clarity, simply because each different mapping of peoples is contingent upon the definition of negritos. However, this shouldn’t be so difficult because the people making the earlier studies presumably do have working definitions, as does the author and the Census of the Philippines. But it is important to be explicit about whether changing definitions through time—both self-definition and observer-imposed—have resulted in changes of numbers and locations of negritos. The author should be clear whether groups are defined by language, subsistence base, phenotype, or combinations of these factors. In this respect, reference to the Reid paper in this volume will be useful and I enclose a copy of the final version. In your paper we learn that the 2000 census records a list of negrito languages. It would be interesting to know how these are defined and do they differ from Reid’s outline in his paper (Reid this issue)?

The themes developed throughout on self-definition, observer-imposed definition and a pejorative polarised definition of “otherness,” are excellent insights into the subject of ethnicity. The terms “monteses” and “remontados” need a little more clarification though, as this is a very interesting insight into the colonial administration’s classification categories. On my first reading of the manuscript it’s not clear how negritos differ from Indios, Monteses, and Remontados. Early in the paper the Moro and Infieles are mentioned but who are these peoples? Later, the term “Raza” appears but it would benefit from explanation.

On page 7 the 1903 census is said to describe sixteen wild populations including the negritos and eight civilised groups. So are there “wild” non-negritos (i.e., a phenotypical definition of negritos) and are there “civilised” negritos? If not, then does wild = negrito? And if so, is the term “wild” predicated upon being independent to state and religion, and to what extent is this definition contiguous with that of a...

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