Inabal | @nmenmindanao

INABAL. In the Bagobo society, the inabal (ikat-dyed woven abaca cloth) is considered a symbol of wealth, offerings to deities, and gifts to those who officiate rituals. These finely woven fabrics become ikut or sacred objects when inherited and used as protective charms that guarantee the completion of houses.

Among the weaving communities, textiles form part of their cultural identity. Bagobos are known for their intricate weaving designs and techniques using the abaca (Musa textilis). The inabal is woven using the tie-dye technique, also known as ikat or bëbëd, among the other Lumad groups in Mindanao and some parts of eastern Indonesia. The dyes used in weaving their textiles are gathered from natural sources such as plants, animals, and minerals.

The Bagobo, like their neighboring weaving communities, are experts in extracting the fibers of the abaca and selecting the very fine ones for weaving. They use the backstrap loom in creating textiles with various zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, and geometric designs. During the finishing process, beeswax is applied to the beater to add a sheen. The finished woven abaca cloths are polished using a smooth shell.

Are you interested and excited to see an “inabal” work of Manlilikha ng Bayan Salinta Monon? Come and visit the National Museum of Butuan featuring “Panapton sa Lumad: Mga Arte ug Kailhanan” exhibition to open to the public in October 2022. See you!

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