Ayaga | @natmuseumwsm

The Maranao’s Sara or Ayaga is a traditional strainer or sifter made of a coconut shell with an open rim and multiple small holes on its bottom, inserted with a long carved wood as a handle.

It is used to sift the mixture of the Muslim delicacy in Mindanao called tiateg in Maranao, jah or lokot-lokot in Sinama and Tausug, and tinagtag in Maguindanao.

This collection (image above) is carved with an okir design which is common among other ethnolinguistic groups in Southern Philippines.

In celebration of Coconut Month, the National Museum of the Philippines features one of its National Ethnographic Collection highlighting the artistic custom of the Maranao.

Coconut (Cocos nucifera), locally known as Coco in Chavacano, Lahing in Tausug and Sinama, and Niyog in Maranao is the only species of the genus cocos from the Arecaceae palm tree family. Coconut is regarded as the “Tree of Life” because of its optimum use. From its roots to the tips of its leaves and from culinary to non-culinary, nothing is wasted.

You may want to read: