Meet Annie. She is Ifugao by birth and is married to a Kalinga farmer. Keeping the tradition of her husband's culture alive, she has created modern product designs for the traditional weaves. With the help of the Department of Trade & Industry she has been trained to design and sew different kinds of products.
Ifugao born, her knowledge of Kalinga symbolism is limited. When we visited her, we were lectured by an elder who was a neighbor and a retired teacher. She stated that much of the traditional language has been lost. The youth could not even pronounce the words spoken by the elders. There is hope, however, the schools have begun to integrate weaving into the curriculum and the local dialect is starting to make a come back.
The symbols we have found in the weaving and the tattoos of Kalinga tell us stories of their every day life. From farming, royalty, bravery of war, home life, economics and, most of all traditional values that keep ancient knowledge. From being conscientious of the seasons expressed through their weaves to telling the story of economics through the shell decorations and rice symbols, all of them pay homage and respect for both environment and each other.
The weaves and tattoos of this region take time and attention. In this fast-paced world, each weave for us reminds us of the time and reflection put into each design and how it's good to pause, reflect, think about where we came from and where we are going.
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