A Preliminary Study on the Meranaw Traditional Balod “Tie-Dye” Technique in Weaving
Keywords:Historical Narrative, Meranaw, Weaving, Tie-dyeing, Cultural Heritage
This paper is a historical narrative study documenting two of the most ancient living Meranaw cultural heritage: kapanga-awl (weaving) and kapamalod (tie-dyeing). These century-old surviving crafts serve as a testament to a very long-standing contacts and trade relations between the Philippines and her neighboring countries such as India, China and the Asian countries, more particularly Indonesia whose Ikat (from an ancient Indonesian word mengikat which means to tie or bind) weaving style closely resembles the Meranaw balod technique in weaving. What links the Philippines with these countries and what finds the Meranaw more similar to the weaving tribes in Northern Luzon and Southern Mindanao are their weaving culture. Highlights of this paper include the origin of the balod technique in weaving, their ingenuity with regards to the use of natural and indigenous raw materials for weaving and some mythical performances, ceremonies, and ritual offerings associated with the balod craftsmanship. Significantly, the research aimed to enable the readers to appreciate and understand the said weaving cultural heritage. It addresses the issues of saving this cultural heritage; otherwise, weaving may suffer the fate of other Meranaw indigenous arts that have diminished and faded into oblivion. This paper recommends preserving such weaving cultural heritage through continuous recording or documenting, archiving, preserving them in their living form, and ensuring its transmission to the next generation.
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