Skeins of Knowledge, Threads of Wisdom

Patricia M. Araneta, Ph.D., Curator
 
Indigenous textile arts in the Philippines demonstrate the ingenuity, creativity, adaptability, and sophistication of the early Filipinos. These manifest themselves today in contemporary arts and crafts. This exhibition is a moment to make today’s Filipinos aware that among our indigenous communities are living examples of how we might be able to restore some balance in our lives, in our country, and among global communities. It places the textiles in the context of community, environment, culture, tradition, spirit, and matter.
 
The exhibited textiles come from the Mercedes Zobel Collection, including examples she donated to Ayala Museum. The textiles gathered by Mercedes Zobel come from various other collectors, foremost of who are Ricardo Baylosis and Floy Quintos. Some of these objects have been previously published and exhibited. They are being shown as a collective for the purpose of elevating understanding and appreciation of cultural heritage and the traditional arts against a rich cultural and biological diversity. It is envisaged that this display will enable us to read the textile arts at a higher level of knowledge and consciousness.
date_range 3 Aug 2022
access_time 10:00 AM- 5:30 PM
location_on 4F Galleries
info_outline This exhibition is part of the Crossroads of Civilizations feature.

Exhibition Objects

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Lam-ma | Women's upper garment

Kalinga

Origin

Kalinga-Apayao

Medium

Cotton

Dimensions

102 cm cuff to cuff, 28 cm shoulder to hem

Collection

Ethnographic Materials

Description

The lam-ma or Kalinga women’s blouse uses four narrow panels of handwoven white cotton fabric. Two panels form the short bodice and the other two form the sleeves up to the elbows. The edges and joineries are sewn and embroidered using red thread to create patterns that are distinctly Kalinga.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection | Gift of Mercedes Zobel

Location

Museum Storage

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Backstrap Loom Weaving Set with Fragmentary Textile

Tingguian

Origin

Abra Province

Medium

Cotton and wood

Dimensions

165 x 65 cm

Collection

Ethnographic Materials

Description

The backstrap loom is one of the oldest weaving technologies, used both in north and southern Philippines. The warp (lengthwise) threads are mounted on two beams: one elevated, usually on a house beam or a tree branch, and the other is harnessed to the weaver’s body with a backstrap. The weaver’s back provides the tension to facilitate the weaving process. Textiles produced by the backstrap loom are narrow, usually depending on the width of the weaver’s hips and the length of their arms.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection | Gift of Mercedes Zobel

Location

Museum Storage

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Barangal/ Baraker | Men's head cloth

Ga'dang

Origin

Isabela, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Nueva Vizcaya

Medium

Cotton, glass and ceramic beads

Dimensions

66 x 73.5

Collection

Ethnographic Materials

Description

The barangal or Ga'dang headgear is made of red cotton fabric cut into a square, with three ends uniformly beaded in red, yellow, white, and black, curvilinear bands. One corner is beaded on the opposite surface of the square fabric, so once tied and put on the head of the wearer, the beads are flipped over so that all corners are on the right-side-up.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection | Gift of Mercedes Zobel

Location

Museum Storage

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Tangkulo | Men's head cloth

Bagobo

Origin

Davao del Sur and Cotabato Province

Medium

Cotton

Dimensions

71.5 x 65.5 cm

Collection

Ethnographic Materials

Description

The design of this tangkulo (men’s head cloth) of the Bagobo of Mindanao symbolizes the crocodile, which they believe can ward off evil spirits. The patterns were made using a resist-dye technique called binudbud. The moon motif of concentric circles is called bulanbulan. The Bagobo tangkulo is usually made of cotton acquired through trade but earlier examples were made from abaca.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection | Gift of Mercedes Zobel

Location

Museum Storage

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Umpák ka mama | Men’s upper garment

Bagobo

Origin

Davao del Sur and Cotabato Province

Medium

Abaca

Dimensions

123 cm cuff to cuff, 41 cm shoulder to hem

Collection

Ethnographic Materials

Description

Worn exclusively by the Bagobo magani (warrior), this umpák ka mama (men’s shirt) is made from handwoven abaca fiber, tie-dyed with natural red dyes to form circular patterns. Together with matching saroar (men’s trousers), the ensemble is referred to as tinangkulo meaning made in the fashion of the tangkulo head cloth that also features these tie-dyed patterns. In the 1990s however, Bagobo society underwent changes and this kind of attire has not been seen since.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection | Gift of Mercedes Zobel

Location

Museum Storage

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