The salakot is known as talugong in the Batanes. This one is of narrow-gauge bamboo, plaited herringbone-style, with a pointed tip and a medium pitch. Its woven rim is supported by an unidentified reed growing on Sabtang Island, where talugong-maker par excellence, Mariano Gecha, lives.
Mr. Gecha, who is also a Batanes housebuilder, harvests all the materials needed for the talugong from the hills behind his home — except one: bamboo does not grow on Sabtang; he waits for lengths of bamboo to drift ashore, and what used to be outriggers and other bamboo contrivances are dried, trimmed and whittled to be woven into the talugong.
The most ubiquitous of Philippine hats were and, possibly still is, the salakot, a wide-brimmed casque, present not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of Asia. Philippine salakot shapes are various: some are like large helmets, many are conical with pointed apices, and others are rounded like a mushroom. It is headwear that has been donned for centuries by farmers, fishermen, and the common folk, against rain and sun.
Bamboo, unidentified reed from Sabtang
Sabtang Island, Batanes
Maker: Mariano Gecha
Museo ng Kaalamáng Katutubò
A gift from the late Ivatan Florentino H. Hornedo, Ph. D.
You may want to read: