I can’t quite say Im totally aware of the Filipino culture and traditions as much as I wish I was. I am second generation on this side as my grand father is from the Phillipines. I never met my grandfather or anyone from this side because he sadly left my grandmother and her two young children, never to be found again.
Regardless I am proud to say I’m Asian mixed now that I am older and have embraced my look. (as a child I hated the way I was mixed and thinking back I wish I realized what I do now and that is to embrace every part of you and be grateful for what you have)
A LITTLE BACKGROUND FOR MY FINDS
The Phillipines is an island chain made up of about 7,100 islands. The Tagalog language is spoken there. Considering they are mostly a Christian nation, having been ruled by the Spanish, 81% of the population is Roman Catholic, while Pilipino Muslims make up about 5% of the national population. Animism or folk religion encompassing indigenous spiritual traditions from pre-colonial times still prevail even among baptized members of formal churches.
Among all my interesting finds I cam across a sacred cloth called T’nalak that comes from Lake Sebu in Aouth Cotabato, Phillipines.
- This cloth is made from Abaca fibers (Manila hemp) and is woven by the T’boli women who are also known as dreamweavers.
- The abaca fibers give it strength and the natural dye pigment used from certain roots, leaves and bark of the “loko” plant and “k’nalum” tree semi-permanent. (When well taken care of, it will not fade)
- This weaving is an art form that is mastered over decades.
- To the T’boli people the T’nalak serves as literature and art (since there is no written language).
- The T’boli women take pride in their work, as it symbolizes significant points in life such as birth, life, union in marriage and death.
- Everything is expressed in the T’nalak from dreams, beliefs, myths and even religion.
- The weaving process can be taken on by young girls to older women starting out with the initial stages of manual stripping of the abaca fiber to dyeing, weaving, and tying knots. The men of the household, (husbands to sons) are able to assist and take part in the process too by stripping abaca fibers and burnishing of the fabrics.
- Depending on the length and intricacy it can take up to several months to finish a pattern. The patterns are said to be bestowed upon them by either their own dreams, depictions from ancestors, or through the spirit of the abaca.
if you’d like to learn more about the Phillipines (Wiki) -Click here. Thanks to this site I was able to come across more fascinating information, all Filipino related and heres where i learned more about the T’nalak process through an organization created to empower the T’boli women and create means of income for them.