In this modern and digital world, it is more crucial than ever to protect the Philippine culture. Specifically, indigenous textiles offer an insight into the nation’s rich cultural tradition and heritage. The labor-intensive and challenging weaving technique captures the Filipino values of perseverance, dedication, and talent.
Native materials are used by indigenous communities to create various textile patterns and unique items. With help from the public and commercial sectors, these communities may spread the beauty of the weaving industry. Nowadays, it is more convenient to buy handcrafted products, such as blankets and clothing, among others. Doing so helps weavers maintain a culturally valuable craft while providing them with a living wage.
In addition, both hand-loom and machine loom weaving in the Philippines offers a sustainable counterpoint to the fast fashion industry. Due to the lack of sustainability and brutal labor methods in fast fashion, some brands have started looking for alternatives. Because of its eye-catching and vibrant designs, Philippine textiles are becoming increasingly popular and well-liked all over the world.
For this reason, we would look into the history, symbols and patterns, along with businesses that are trying to preserve the craft and heritage. Let us see the beauty of woven textiles and how you can incorporate them into your Bria Homes. By also sharing the news and engaging in responsible shopping, you can also contribute to the preservation of the weaving tradition.
Since the 13th century, weaving has been a part of the Philippine culture. Its long history has been intertwined with both the spiritual world and the local populace. Many Filipinos are deeply spiritual; in fact, the beliefs of our forefathers are the foundation of many of our traditions. The same is said to be true with traditional weaving; it is seen as the indigenous peoples’ conduit to the spirits who will aid them in attracting protection and good health in the Earthly realm.
Through the millennia, the tribes viewed weaving as a pastime that allowed weavers to gather and interact with one another. Each indigenous tribe in the Philippines incorporates its own distinctive traditional designs and motifs into its weaving, which have significance to the communities who produced them. Some of the raw materials they commonly use are pineapples, abaca fibers, and local cotton
Indigenous weaving Philippines is seen as more than a practice that is kept alive for practical or religious purposes, rather, it is regarded as an aesthetic expression of beliefs. For example, certain rites in the country are represented by fabrics and colors.
Traditional dances for courting, healing, war, harvest, and protection follow certain patterns. Indigenous tribes also link various occasions to specific colors. In particular, red is the color of power utilized by the Pinatubo Negrito for their healers. Typically, brown or earthy hues are kept for topics pertaining to death and sadness.
Before adopting these conventional fabrics in your Bria Homes, it is necessary to comprehend the symbolism in each pattern.
The bayawak or baniya pattern is used in Ifugao tribal traditional weaving. The God who appeared to the Ifugaos as a lizard and taught them how to irrigate their crops is symbolized by this pattern. This can symbolize riches and prestige, thus worn by prominent people.
Northern Luzon’s Abra and the Ilocos region are both home to this weaving style. On a pedal frame loom, this design is made by interlacing two shades of thread, typically white and a darker color, to produce rectangles of different sizes. To provide the appearance of waves, swirls, or circles, these rectangles are put on the cloth in a repeating pattern.
This design is intended to disorient and confound demonic spirits in order to ward them off. Binakul was frequently incorporated into blankets to shield occupants from ghosts while they slept.
Binituwon, the star emblem used by the Ifugaos of northern Luzon, is one of their most distinctive patterns. Stars are revered and considered to be the offspring of the sun and moon. The binituwon represents fertility and abundance, hence women frequently wear belts with the symbol incorporated to aid in childbearing.
The Yakan tribe of the Sulu Archipelago uses this complicated design. Yakans are renowned for producing intricate and geometric textiles with vivid color schemes. Particularly the bunga-sama features detailed diamond designs intended to simulate python skin.
The bunga-sama pattern, like many of the vivid creations of the Yakan, is most frequently turned into apparel. Today, however, accessories and home décor products like table runners and tablecloths often use this pattern.
Another vibrant pattern from the Yakan tribe is the palipattang. This style includes colorful stripes that are woven with complex and smaller patterns. It looks like a rainbow made of thread.
The Yakan people historically wore tight-fitting trousers made from this design. Like the bunga-sama, the palipattang is customarily used as table runners, wall hangings, and placemats.
The Bontoc people of northern Luzon frequently use the matmata pattern, which comprises diamonds with double lines and is sometimes referred to as the “eyes of the ancestors.” The matmata is a pattern that is revered because it is intended to help the deceased find their way to the afterlife.
The garments worn by the deceased and funeral blankets most frequently feature this pattern. To add further meaning, the matmata is frequently mixed with other patterns like the tiktiko triangle or the X pattern. These two motifs, when combined, convey respect for the deceased.
The tinaggu pattern has a more straightforward interpretation, being shaped like a human figure. This design, when used in textiles, symbolizes the Ifugao people’s ancestors who have passed on to the afterlife and become gods or demigods. The ancestors are believed to protect those wearing blankets and garments made of fabric with tinaggu design elements.
Local Filipino Artisans
ANTHILL, a Cebu City-based business with an ethical and environmentally conscious focus, collaborates with weavers all over the Philippines to promote and market their handmade textiles.
Wherever you are from in the Philippines, there is a regional weave connected to your past. The Yakan, Inabel, and Abaca Ikat goods are on display at Kultura. They are made by and intended to help women weavers; giving them access to a market that values their skill and delicate work.
Habi Textile Council
At the yearly Likhang Habi Market Fair, held by the Habi Textile Council, you can watch lectures and demonstrations on ancient weaving processes as well as buy handcrafted textiles from local weavers.
They have a lot of useful material on their website, as it provides an excellent resource for learning about indigenous textiles from the Philippines.
You can buy a wide variety of blankets, barongs, shirts, accessories, bags, and gifts in Narra Studio’s store. It describes itself as “a POC, Filipina, & woman-owned brand dedicated to artistry, weaving, and craft heritages of the Philippines.”
True to its design ethos, T’nalak Home presents premium Philippine goods made with traditional artisanship and cutting-edge design methods. The Davao-based business delivers well-known Filipino-made furniture, home decor, and accessories.
Include your preferred native weaving patterns in your most often used textiles, including beds, living room blankets, furniture fabrics, and even outdoor towels.
Your Bria Homes house and lot will undoubtedly come to life thanks to these intricate designs and vivid hues. Plus, a bonus factor is that you can help the local communities that perpetuate these traditions.
Written by Gianne D. Inumerable