FEU, Kandama showcase creations of Ifugao weavers and designers
MANILA, Philippines – The Far Eastern University (FEU), in partnership with the social enterprise Kandama, is showcasing Ifugao weaving to help indigenous women preserve their tradition of loom weaving.
Ifugao women weave fabrics for personal wear, annual rituals, and wedding feasts. Traditional wears include wrap around skirts called “ampuyo,” blouse or “lamma,” belt or “balco,” g-string for men or “wanno,” shoulder blanket or “bayaung,” and other blankets like “gamong” and “hape."
But due to the influence of western education, culture, and fashion, younger generations of Ifugao barely practice the indigenous tradition.
For instance, only 28 weavers in Barangay Julongan in Kiangan, Ifugao, are still using upright looms. There are 18 newly certified weavers, 85% of whom are also rice and vegetable farmers.
That is why Kandama thought of bringing together indigenous artisans, cosmopolitan designers, and master weavers to create pieces that are inspired by cultural heritage while providing economic opportunities for indigenous women.
The project also aims to preserve the tradition of handloom weaving.
FEU students will be exposed to the program by engaging in community projects. FEU Fine Arts students who study textile and fashion will be exposed to the process of handloom weaving and participate in an internship program with Kandama designers.
Kandama will feature creations of indigenous women from Ifugao and various designers like John Rufo, Jeff Tonog, Joco Calimlim, LA Sevilla, and Mark Escay in a fashion show on August 19, 5pm, at the Green Sun Hotel in Makati.
“The partnership reminds us that innovation and collaboration are crucial to worthy causes such as cultural preservation,” said FEU assistant vice president for academic services Joeven Castro.
He added that it is their obligation as Filipinos and as an academic institution to help sustain indigenous knowledge and practices. – With a report from Danielle Nakpil/Rappler.com