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The region's name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The word davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups' names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city. The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the riverDavah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hardv or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawas called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means "a place beyond the high grounds" (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills). When asked where they were going, the usual reply wasdavah (pointing towards the town). Dawaw also refers to a trading settlement, where forest goods are bartered for salt and other commodities.