Back-strap weaving in the Philippines

One reason for the gaps in blog posts last year was a rather sudden and unexpected trip to the Philippines. I’ve finally sorted out some of my photos and wanted to share them with you here. Hubby was asked to do some work in the Philippines at quite short notice. Unusually, I was able to clear the decks from work at short notice and go out to join him. This was a surprise trip in many ways. As well as being quite sudden, it was a country that I had no previous knowledge of in terms of culture, politics, art or textiles. Having studied the textiles of my chosen countries in the City and Guilds Diploma course, and having travelled in India and Nepal and various other countries around the world, it was an interesting experience to come across such a very different and unfamiliar culture that I had absolutely no previous exposure to.

I thought you might be interested to see some of the back-strap weaving that we came across, in the mountainous regions in the north of the country. This lady was weaving in the traditional back-strap method, where the warp is tensioned by a strap round her back. This is the piece that we bought from her. I bought it as a long wall-hanging, and discovered that it is actually a traditional piece that is worn by men as a loincloth in ceremonial dances. Here are some young lads wearing the loincloths from this village in a ceremonial dance. It was so lovely to see these teenagers enjoying their culture and celebrating it with such gusto, and sharing it with travellers. And at the other end of the age-range, here are some ladies from the village wearing their traditional woven clothing and head-gear. 

 

 

 

This is the village, surrounded by rice fields and mountains (photos will enlarge of you click on them).

Weaving on the loom – a bigger scale of production, but still hand-made.There’s such a rich source of designs and images, everywhere you look. What a inspired way to use redundant plastic, to cheer up the front of your house. It makes you think about what we throw away every day.And how about this for a travelling shop? I could go on for ever, but I’ll finish with a photo of me eating an amazing dragon-fruit from a roadside stall. Delicious!

 

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