Philippine Hats

Philippine Hats
Philippine Hats | @natmuseumph

Philippine Hats

a. Female head and back cover
Ivatan | Batanes
Vuyayuy, abaca, and cotton threads
H 87.5 cm; W 54.5 cm; D 18.5 cm

b. Suklong/Suklang
Bontok | Bontoc, Mountain Province
Rattan, bamboo, and cord
H 16 cm; D 12.5 cm

c. Sadok
Manobo | Agusan Valley
Palm, abaca, wood, and paint/resin
H 8 cm; W 13 cm; L 38 cm

d. Bisaya | Panay Island
Nito, rattan, and abaca
H 8.3 cm; D 8.3 cm, 36.5 cm

e. S’laong
T’boli | South Cotabato
Bamboo, nito, beads, horse’s hair, abaca, cotton cloth, and paint
H 60 cm; D 34.8 cm

As we beat the heat and protect ourselves from the sun, let us look at the various hats from the National Ethnographic Collection exhibited at the National Museum of Anthropology!

As protection from the sun’s heat and harmful UV rays, weather-appropriate clothing and accessories are usually worn. Here in the Philippines, different ethnolinguistic groups have their unique hats and headgear to combat the seasons.

Hats come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. Most are made from tropical plants such as buri/buli (Corypha utan), pandan (Pandanus spp.), nito (Lygodium circinnatum), rattan (Arecaceae family), nipa (Nypa fruticans), palm sheath, and tabungaw (gourd), which are widely available across the country. Most hats are made using a combination of these plant materials, like the wide-brimmed hat from Panay Island crafted from a combination of nito, rattan, and abaca (Musa textilis) and the kattukong of the Ilocos Region made of dried gourd, bamboo, and nito strips.

Animal skin, tortoise shell, and wood are also utilized. In South Cotabato, the T’boli adorn their s’laong with colored beads and horse hair. Meanwhile, the Manobo use paint / cuticle and chicken feathers to decorate their sadok. Hat shapes and designs also differ. Some have a conical shape like the s’laong, while others are round like the suklong/suklang of the Bontok.

In agricultural communities, hats are worn by farmers and fisherfolks as protection from the sun and rain. In Batanes, the head and back cover made from vuyavuy (Phoenix loureiroi) or the Philippine date palm is exclusively worn by women all year round. On the other hand, the suklong / suklang worn by Bontok men in Mt. Province indicate their marital status and locality. Hats also serve as containers for their pipe, tobacco, flint, betel chew, and their share of meat when attending rituals.

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