Weavers of Peace and Dreams:
Textile Arts of Mindanao
Indigenous weaving culture in the Southern Philippines endured and persisted through time as the artistic and intellectual expression of their social belief systems. Their design was determined by the weaver’s organic relationship with nature but in more recent times have been influenced by commercial demands to served as sources of additional income to support a subsistence economy.
THP brings to the American and international public fine examples of Mindanao textile design with examples from traditional to more contemporary periods. Traditional weaving was circumscribed by much ritual and ceremonies of the life cycle — birth, marriage and death and the fabrics produced were meant to address these ceremonial needs. Contemporary weavers now struggle with traditional concepts and the demands of the local and tourist market. With this transformation the continuity of the weaving culture traditions, the passing on of heritable designs and technique, and the self pride and worth of work is a cause for concern. THP hopes to highlight the possibility of evolving newer concepts of design and work through this exhibition, thereby encourage other designers, weaving artisans, scholars to talk about their future direction. The goal is not just the survival of weaving craft but also the continuation of a living tradition by people with rich intellectual and deep artistic knowledge in this age of commodification, conflict and globalization.
[Photo: Detail of a T’boli T’nalak panel.]
A project of The Hinabi Project (THP) of Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA) in collaboration with The Mills Building, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA Philippines), Non-Timber Forest Products, Inc.; Community Partners: Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, Philippine Department of Tourism, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
THP's exhibition on Mindanao weaving traditions features fabric fashioned from hemp, cotton and silk embellished with decorative techniques that include ikat dying, appliqué, embroidery, and the incorporation of beads, shells, and sequins. The traditional color palette of black/indigo, white and red predominate even in contemporary work.
Design patterns are geometric and represent natural forms. Contributions to the commissioned pieces of the exhibit come from the master weavers of the Bagobo, B'laan, Maguindanao, Mandaya, Tausug, and Yakan communities. In addition to the commissioned pieces for the exhibit, there are also examples of antique and vintage pieces from a variety of communities in Mindanao.
a Yakan saputangan (headcloth)
Detail from a Maranaw
silk malong a landap
Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur,
Parts of N. Cotabato
to November 24, 2017
The Mills Building
220 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104-3402
Kyubasan ng Likid
[the youngest daughter of the chieftain],
Platina [necklace], Dagum [blouse], and Sampad [headress].
Photographer: Eden Jhan G. Licayan
Detail from a Mandaya dagmay
and crocodile figures.
woven in abaca.
Davao, Davao Oriental
Detail from a T’boli kegal nisif