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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 30
Location: California
Hello all,

I just returned from a beautiful trip to South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines.

We were able to visit 4 different Tboli communities - 2 in the Lake Sebu area, one in the Tboli town area and one in Kiamba - and one Blaan community - way up in the mountains near Malungon.

While with the Tboli we spent precious time with weavers like Subi Nalon and Inas Cone, among many others and our visit to the Blaan allowed us to meet one of the last tabih weavers, Fu Yabing Dulo. It was an honor and a privilege to be with them in their homes, eat with them and share a brief moment in their lives. It was wonderful to see so many old friends again and meet so many new friends as well.

The art of tnalak weaving among the Tboli appears to be thriving. While new patterns and preferences have emerged in some areas, old traditions remain strong with ancient patterns and techniques continuing to prevail. Impressive art of immense cultural significance is still being created by the Tboli "dreamweavers."

I'll add some photos in a bit. Please feel free to ask any questions here or contact me directly via email.

Best,
Craig


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
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Location: Japan
Craig, Sounds like you had a nice trip. Thanks for posting photos from your travels. I am sure we all look forward to more photos especially of the B'laan area. It will be interesting to hear about the current production of B'laan abaca ikat textiles.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 30
Location: California
Hi Mac,

Great trip. Better than expected. Attached here and in another reply or two are several photos related to the Blaan. Except for Fu Yabing Dulo (the older white-haired lady in the first photo above) and a few of her close family members, the art of tabih weaving is nearly gone. Very sad to say. There has been recently, however, a real push for a revival in their weaving tradition. It's really an uphill battle but Fu Yabing is still weaving (she's well over 90) and since her weaves are really a family affair, there are others learning the craft. We can only hope that things will carry on when she's gone.

I commissioned a piece from her back in 2014. It was finished in 2015, but remained in South Cotabato for an exhibit that took place in September. Attached are a few shots of my tabih being created, then a few more of it on exhibition.

As an aside, you'll note that the women are not wearing tabih/abaca skirts. The woven cotton malong is the fashion now and has been for quite some time.

Best,
Craig


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Last edited by Marbel on Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Location: California
Here are a few more of the piece being made.


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Blaan10 Auntie Lamina phographed by Marry Ann Abing Bariquit  2.jpg
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Blaan11 Auntie Lamina phographed by Marry Ann Abing Bariquit.jpg
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:55 pm 
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At the exhibit in General Santos City. September 2015


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:24 pm
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Location: California
A few more shots of the Blaan last week.

Please note the last photo, which has little to do with textiles but is quite an amazing site. We arrived early at the village to watch this being constructed by what seemed like the whole village. It stands well over 6ft high, is constructed of decorated bamboo and sugar cane, then adorned with packets of rice in banana leaves and chicken - both on sticks on the top as well as whole chickens on each level and more pieces on the gong-shaped rice displays on the bottom. I was told that this type of display had not been created for several decades. It was quite a celebration we had and quite an honor to be there. By the end of the afternoon, the food was completely consumed (or saved) and the children of the village were chewing on the sugar cane stalks.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:54 am 
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Location: Japan
Craig, Thanks for the info on the B'laan. Is the demise of the B'laan weaving tradition the case throughout the B'laan area? I am disappointed to hear that the B'laan have almost stopped doing ikat. The influence of cheap, donated, second hand, western clothes has been a big factor in the decline of production and use of traditional costumes. All of the ethnic groups throughout the Philippines are losing or have already lost their identity as they are pressed by economic, religious, educational and social pressures into the homogeneous Filipino mold. The situation is worse in the Philippines than in other Asian countries due to the Catholic church and the early, American occupation. The loss of pride in their ethnic identity is sad but, in the face of the onslaught of the 21st century, reeducation and religious conversion, probably unstoppable. The Kalinga, the Ifugao, the Bagobo and the B'laan are all exchanging ethnic pride for national pride and being melded into modern, westernized, Catholic Filipinos. It is encouraging that the T'boli have maintained their ethnic pride and continue to produce their traditional, abaca, ikat textiles. Hopefully they will be an inspiration to other ethnic groups to revive their traditions.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Thanks to Craig and Marbel for the excellent shots of the Tboli & Blaan weavers - very informative and also caught the atmosphere well. The images and information clearly inspired MAC to hunt around the internet for more information and he shared with me a link to a video on Facebook of some Tboli weaving which he thought perhaps I could share with you. I have embedded the video below. As well as showing some stages in the process of creating t'nlak the video includes an interview with two granddaughters of the late Tboli weaver, Lang Dulay. The video appeared on Haute Culture Blogger on Facebook. The website http://hauteculturefashion.com/ is well worth a look.



click the image to start the video

For other threads on Lang Dulay see viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2546 and viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2422&hilit=lang+dulay

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