Maranao Borak

Maranao Borak
Maranao Borak | @museumxst0ries

Maranao Borak

The borak/buraq is half-human and half-horse.

As told in the Islam miʿrāj or the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad into heaven, the winged creature borak carried him on his journey from the sacred place of worship Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven which explains how he completed traveling between the cities in a single night.

The borak is also described as a white animal, half-mule or half-donkey, with wings on its sides which replaced the ladder as Muhammad’s means of access into heaven.

While there is no reference as to the sex and human qualities of the borak in hadith or record of traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, the Maranao sometimes portrays it with a face of a woman.

The Maranao borak in the National Ethnographic Collection is made of carved wood or a combination of wood and ivory, embellished with multi-colored paint, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, or decorated with brass plates/sheets, bells, and hair.

Text: National Museum of Philippines Website

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