Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider


Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts


Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer


Dark or Light Style


About Me

My photo
This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

September 4, 2011

lake sebu: profile of a young T'nalak weaver

Portrait of a Young Dreamweaver

By just looking at the portrait, one cannot imagine that this beautiful young T'boli lady is one of the masters of an art that has been handed down from mother to daughter for ages.

This art I've mentioned is the weaving of the T'nalak cloth, one of the hallmarks of the rich culture of the T'boli tribe of southern Mindanao. The weaving is exclusive to the women of the tribe and it takes years of practice before one can learn the whole tedious process and more years, and probably lots of inspiration, before a unique design can be attributed to a weaver. But by the age of 12, Divina already started weaving and producing complex designs.

Divina Man Clarang
the youngest "dreaweaver"

I met Divina 2 years ago when I documented the T'nalak weaving process for one of UN's agencies. I had the privilege of shooting her and other "dreamweavers" - a group of T'boli women featured in a book entitled "Dreamweavers" by Neal M. Oshima. Divina is the youngest of the group.

Lake Sebu's T'nalak weavers are nicknamed "dreamweavers" because the patterns they use in the weaving are supposed to be inspired by their dreams. Its a complex process involving close to 10 steps.

Divina with T'nalak cloth
Divina finished T'nalak cloth

This recent set of photos were taken in Man family's weaving hut in Lamkua, one of Lake Sebu's highland sitios (quite a motorcycle ride). Divina's sister Elena and mom Yab are also master weavers (and both were also featured in the book). Yab is considered one of the icons of T'nalak weaving, with more than 100 designs to her name.

Divina weaving
Divina working on her loom (just one of the stages in the process)

Divina is one of the faces of the new generation of weavers, keeping this tradition alive for future generations. Even in the face of mass produced low quality T'nalak (the ones usually sold to tourists in Lake Sebu), she and other young master weavers adhere to traditional ways of producing T'nalak. Its a tedious process (which I hope to feature soon), but the output is priceless art: an imprint of the dreams of the T'boli people.
Share This Post :

You Might Also Like


Unknown said...

This simply makes us proud. Philippines has a rich culture and traditions that every Filipinos must be proud of :) Though conquered through westernization, I still believe that there's a kindling light of hope that our culture will outshine soon :) very nice post :)

Biboy Fotograpiya

bertN said...

She is not only the master of an art that has been handed down from generation to generation but she is an art in herself. A beautiful one, if I may say so. Hindi ba?

Lantaw said...

@Biboy, we indeed have a rich culture

Lantaw said...

@bertN, its an art that is dangerously being commercialized nowadays. Only a handful still adhere to the traditional way. Some of the younger generations are finding jobs in the lowland, so there are also few so young masters.

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

It's good to know that the tradition is still being taken up by the younger generation

Post a Comment

[name=lantaw] [img=https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8237/8458831412_c95b7dbbae_t.jpg] [description=Loves to shoot nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and other natural wonders] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/lantawphotos) (twitter=https://twitter.com/lantawphotos) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/lantaw/)