Inaul | @natmuseumwsm

INAUL is the traditional woven cloth of the Maguindanao. It is worn as “malong,” a tubular skirt, or “sarong,” a wrap-around on the lower part of the body or assembled into traditional male and female clothing. It also serves as cradle, mat, bag, blanket, and curtain, to name a few of its uses.

Inaul is an example of tangible and intangible cultural heritage as it captures the Maguindanao symbol of distinction and royalty. The colors yellow and orange represent royalty, while red means bravery. Green signifies peace and tranquility, and white is purity and sometimes speaks of sadness and mourning. Black means dignity. At present, the fabric’s colors and lines depend on the weaver’s choice as they incorporate pastel to dark shades, which are commonly used. Maguindanao weavers also use various designs; the most popular is the plain weave “binaludto” (rainbow), “makabimban” (stripes), or “panigabi” (taro). A weft weave includes “sinindengan,” “matampuhay-seko,” “seko-kawang,” and “sinupikan” designs. The practice of tie-dying is another rare method locally called “binaludan” (ikat). Warp and weft are the two basic components used in weaving. The vertical warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom, while the horizontal weft thread is drawn through and inserted over and under the warp to turn thread or yarn into fabric.

Visit the National Museum of the Philippines exhibition, “Luhul, Landap, Inaul, and Tennun: Fabrics of Strength and Protection Among the Bangsamoro People,” at the National Museum Western-Southern Mindanao in Zamboanga City to know more about the Bangsamoro fabrics.

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