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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:49 pm 
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Forum member Marie-Noelle has sent me photos of two textiles which she is keen to share with forum members. Unfortunately she has not, so far, managed to get to grips with the forum technology. I am, therefore, going to post the items on two different threads as, apart from being from south-east Asia they are not really related.

On this thread I am posting photos of an abaca sarong of which Marie-Noelle says:
Quote:
a sarong in abaca from the Philippines, southern
Philippines, a very nice one. I was wondering as well from which tribe it
could come, and if anyone had seen such a piece."

I reserve my own comments for a subsequent post. My thanks to Marie-Noelle for sharing photos of a fine and interesting textile.


Attachments:
File comment: abaca sarong from the Philippines
Abaca-sarong-PhilippinesW.jpg
Abaca-sarong-PhilippinesW.jpg [ 68.54 KiB | Viewed 7474 times ]
File comment: detail of abaca sarong from the Philippines
Abaca-detW.jpg
Abaca-detW.jpg [ 63.54 KiB | Viewed 7474 times ]

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 Post subject: Sabanun pulaw
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:47 pm 
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I am no expert on the textiles of the various ethnic groups in the Philippines but, in 2007, I managed to acquire a very beautiful book: 'Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave' by Marian Pator-Roces ISBN 971 8792 00 7. On pages 92 and 93 in the section on 'Textiles from a Mindanao Be-bed Heartland' there are photos of two abaca sarongs of the Subanun people which bear significant similarities to the one shown to us by Marie-Noelle.
Quote:
As for Sabanun ikat: this has only been re-discovered as of this last year, [the book was published in 1991] and very little is known. But the early twentieth century monograph by Emerson Christie clearly describes the technology, though without much detail. Two examples in this book show the tiniest warp ikat "dots" and "dashes" configured to form lightly-traced sequences of triangular and lozenge shapes. These items are subtly reminiscent of yet another type of Bagobo ikat, wherein such a "dot-and-dash" system formed reticulated traceries of triangles and lozenges. (No indigenous term has yet been gathered for these particular Bagobo as well as Subanun pieces, although it seems that the B'laan term tabih fuluh, now simply descriptive of a "large red cloth," may have described this kind of patterning with ikat.) The "lines" of these triangles and lozenges shift chromatically from one small segment of red to a small segment of ecru to a small segment of black, and on and on, giving a darkly shimmering and sinous effect.


Quote:
Plate 54 (and detail in Plate 56) say: Female tubular skirt (Subanun: pulaw) Subanun (Zamboanga del Norte) Abaka (Subanun: baha); plain weave, reserve-dyed (Subanun: bed), warp ikat. Ricardo Baylosis Collection.

Plate 55 (and detail in Plate 57) say: Female tubular skirt (Subanun: pulaw) Subanun (Zamboanga del Norte) Abaka (Subanun: baha); plain weave, reserve-dyed (Subanun: bed), warp ikat Accessory stitches (embroidery). Ricardo Baylosis Collection.

Only ikat-dyed material are referred to as pulaw in Subanun. Other tubular garments are called gampik.

Plate 55 has a central section similar to that shown in the sarong/tubular skirt shown by Marie-Noelle

Plates 165 and 166 on pages 198 and 199 show Marilene Sulong, Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur Subanun wearing a pulaw with a plain black blouse (sometimes white). This pulaw has more stripes in the weave rather than the lozenge affect described above and shown in Marie-Noelle's photos. The central weave is somewhat similar to that shown on Marie-Noelle's pulaw.

Page 81 has a map of 'Ethnolinguistic Groups of the Mindananao Bebed Heartland. Subanon is an area of Mindanao to the west of the island and only joined by a narrow isthmus to the main island. There are 3 Subanon groups listed: Subanun with 3 subgroups (Sindangan, Salug, Lapuyan), Subanen and Kalibugan.

[It is very confusing as the term 'Subanun' is used re the textiles shown and discussed above but, in the ethnolinguistic map the region is Subanon and one of the 3 main linguistic groups is Subanun (which has itself 3 linguistic sub-groups). I have double checked my typing where these similar words appear!!]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Dear Pamela,

Thank you very much for putting those two pictures on the tibal textiles.info.
I think that now I managed to post directly! Regarding the Philippino sarong I will receive soon a book, maybe you have, or hurd about it: "From the Rainbow's Varied Hue - Textiles of the Southern Philippines" Do you know it? I'll keep you informed if I find some interesting informations....


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Excellent, Marie-Noelle to have you on the forum in person!

Yes, I have the book 'From the Rainbow's Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines'. I have had a quick look and there is some info on Western Mindanao including the Subanen on pages 96-99. The second sentence of the section says: "The weaving of the Subanen is one of the least studied of all textile traditions of the Philippines with a published record that is seemingly contradictory." Sounds just right for the forum!!! There are some photos and a couple of ikat tube skirts which they call 'gampek pulaw'. Fig 1.117 mentions ... warp-float patterning appearing along the selvages where the two panels are joined' which is similar to that shown on your textile.

In the text on page 97 it says:

Quote:
"Not all gampek were made of imported cloth; in fact, many Subanen women wore tube skirts of Maguindanao manufacture. More importantly, there is a locally woven type called the gampek pulaw. Paulaw is a Subanen word for handwoven abaca cloth, and these tube skirts are not only made of abaca, they also have warp-ikat decorations. Remarkably, so few of these skirts have been reliably documented and preserved in museum collections that their existence is barely known outside the Subanen homeland. There is one example at the American Museum of Natural History, acessioned in 1905 (figure 1.116). Only recently [the book was published in 1998] have a small number of abaca ikat tube skirts attributed to the Subanen, which bear several different styles of patterning, appeared on the Manila art market (figure 1.117). Very little information accompanied them, leaving more questions than answers about their origins.

One of the reasons so little information has been available about Subanen weaving is that the weavers themselves have traditionally worked within something of a code of secrecy. Subanen are taught to fear weavers as they are reputed to be masters of poisoning. A Subanen weaver keeps a container of water next to her as she works, which is used for moistening the fibers to make the weaving easier; it is this water in particular that is said to be a dangerous poison. According to local belief, a dog that drinks it or even passes under the warp in the loom will die. The weavers work in small groups in isolated weaving huts to minimize the potential disturbance. One elderly woman today still recalls her fear when she was sent to the weaving hut as a child to obtain a cloth. Upon her arrival, only the woman she had come to seek would allow herself to be seen; the other weavers turned their backs and would not speak. As she grew older and became curious about weaving, she was warned that her questioning could lead to illness. Of course the continuation of Subanen weaving depended ultimately on passing the secrets on to a new generation, but only certain Subanen women, probably related as family members, ever learned to weave."


It would seem that you have a very interesting cloth in your collection. Enjoy it and finding out more about it!

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