September 2018

Sky & Water: Where Textile Traditions Meet

Mountain Spirits: Textiles and Folk Arts of Cordillera and Ilokos
Mills Building 220 Montgomery St. San Francisco
September 17 to December 7 2018
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tours by Appointment

Nothing could be more separate than the mountain ranges and the sea. This precisely demarcates the setting of the coming exhibit of The Hinabi Project at the Historic Mills Building on September 17 to December 7 2018. The mountain region, known collectively as the Cordillera is home to several ethnolinguistic communities who inhabit the valleys between the modern city of Baguio and the provincial city of Tabuk. Its people, indigenous and katutubo, builders of the majestic rice terraces, strive to keep their ethnicity intact while embracing selectively, modernity on their own terms, shielded by the mountains from outright colonization by Spain and the United States. The coastal towns of Ilokos with more accessibility to these modernizing forces took the brunt of Hispanization, specifically along its coast and river towns that display their industry and fealty with its splendid churches.
Nothing could be more different as well, than in their textile traditions. The Cordillera, until recently wove with the backstrap loom. The Ilokos made an industry of weaving facilitated by the standing floor loom. The challenge of the current exhibit is to discover whether in fact this two tradition intermingled. Each other's design are distinctly different. The Cordillera favored geometric monochromatic bands punctuated by mountain motifs unique to each linguistic group. The Ilokos favored checkered and floral designs often in bold color combinations of red, yellow and green. Where then, did they meet? San Francisco will have the opportunity to ponder this question during the next three months and even perhaps discover where it might go forward.