Artisan & Culture


Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe


Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe


Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe



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Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe

Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe

ETHNOTEK tribe member Alexa, recently shared a fascinating article with us about the T'boli people of the Philippines which gives an in depth look into their unbelievably complex process and spiritually imbued T'nalak textiles.  

T’bolis consider it taboo to cut the cloth because they believe that act will make them seriously ill. Tribe members who sell the fabric often attach bells to appease the spirits said to have guided the weavers. 

Superstition surrounds the making of the fabric. T’boli libon (tribeswomen) who make the elaborate weaving and design find it easy to process the cloth after a dream. Designs they see clearly in their dreams have certain meanings and requirements. 

The gathering and processing of materials alone are highly complicated. Fibres selected from fruit-bearing abaca plants (Manila hemp) usually about 18 months old, are stripped by hand from the soft wet pulp of the plant’s stalk. This is then made flaxen and pliable by repeated combing and weeks of air drying. A fabric piece 20 feet long can take up to two months to complete. 

Read the full story here

Thanks again for sharing Alexa!

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