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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:17 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:18 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Milwaukee, WI
I'm a grad student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Art
History and Museum Studies. I've been doing research on an artifact in
the Milwaukee Public Museums's collection. Its a sash with twisted
fringe that I think may be from Northern Luzon and not Moro as it is
cataloged. It came to the museum via the Louisiana Expo in 1905. It was
donated to the Exposition by a petty diplomat stationed in the
Philippines. The catalong lists 'Cottabo' which doesn't pop up as
anything there. I'm thinking it may have been a mispelling of Cotobato.
I'm interested in many things.

What is the name of this twisted fringe? I came across it early on
in my research but at the time I was interested mainly in Moro textiles
and the name comes from Northern Luzon. At the same time I read that
weaving from those areas were made with flaws in the pattern to let the
spirits in and out. Is this true and what region is that related to?

Brief description:
Cotton sash, warp-faced, plain weave with supplementary weft designs.
The designs are all over the place in motif that I've been able to locate
with designs from Northern Luzon, Moro and Kachin origin. Also, twisted
fringe. Colors are royal blue background with red, yellow and a bit of
green in the supplementary weft pattern. Items is 36 cm wide by
205 cm long with an additional 17 cm (about) on each side of fringe.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:14 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Canterbury, UK

Welcome to the forum! You have set us quite a challenge and I don't know if we are going to be able to come through for you as forum watchers who have 'come out' i.e. joined as members rather than remaining as 'lurkers', have not expressed a strong expertise in Filipino textiles. However, if you have patience, we may make some progress as the search engines deliver new experts and enthusiasts to the forum. I have been pleasantly surprised in the past at what we have managed to identify.

I am interested but very much an amateur in relation to Filipino textiles. I have consulted my restricted library of reference books. My sense from colour and design is that is is a North Luzon textile as you have suggested. On pages 152 and 156 of 'Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave' by Marian Pastor-Roces ISBN 971-8792-00-7 are loincloths from Kalinga-Apayao, South Kalinga and Maligcong, Bontoc respectively (both North Luzon) have echoes of the textile that you show. However, 'echoes' are probably as firm as I would go. I don't know if you have seen 'The last Filipino Head Hunters' by David Howard ISBN 0-86719-507-X which has stunning photos of mainly elderly Kalinga, Ifugao and Bontoc especially showing their tattoos. There are a few textiles and again echoes of the one you show as there are echoes in the tattoos. Eric Anderson's article on North Luzon textiles ... xtiles.htm also shows textiles with a similar 'feel'.

Looking through the photos in my books it would seem the style of fringe which starts to be shown in your detail photo - which I would call macramé i.e. knotting rather than weaving - is not common although if I had a vivid imagination I might think there is some in small, detailed photos! Almost a Victorian missionary influence about it - a very vivid imagination there!

If you find out more definitive identification of this piece please come back and share it with us. I know that members will add any information they have or find to this thread.

on-line tribal textiles resource

 Post subject: Philippine Textile
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:05 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:18 am
Posts: 93
Hi Erika,

That kind of knotting in the fringe (if I am decifering the photograph correctly) is also found in Sumatra in old Batak textiles.

Lynne Milgram has done fieldwork in the Philippines and knows the textiles well. You could contact her at: B. Lynne Milgram, 128 Dovercourt Road, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6J 3C4. I don't know where she is currently employed; she seems to be involved with several university level institutions in the Toronto area, and several museums including the Museum for Textiles in Toronto.

Best of luck,

Sandra Niessen

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:47 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:37 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Austria / Europe
hello erika

going through my philippine (textile) books (which you might have in the museum too (SINAUNANG HABI / marian pastor roces / 1991 / 971-8792-00-7 isbn) i didnt really find any real resemblance.

even if the type looks somehow to be kalinga or ga´adang i never saw anything like this.

fringes are something pretty common among the various sash typed textiles - also the knotting / makrame type of ending is possible even if mostly with beaded fringes at the ga´adang.

if i find anything more i will post it.


ps. cotabato is southwest mindanao
also the area where the second oldest archeological artefacts found on the philippines are from (mainly secondary burial jars from the 5/6 th cent. AD)

Primitive Gangl
Graz / Austria / Europe

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:18 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Regarding the fringe, is anyone familiar with the term "kinak√°wa"? I did also run across another name for it in a book of textiles from Borneo, but very similar in looks. Is is just me or are most Philippine textiles finished as opposed to knotted with fringe? Most of the fringed examples seem to have been of Northern Luzon origins.

Also, any info on the bahag? This loincloth seems to be wider than some of the other versions, said to be used as a table runner in some cases. I can't locate its place of origin.

Thanks for all the input so far.


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