Digging Deeper: Philippine Indigenous Arts and Crafts

Art was embedded in our culture since the beginning of time up to the present. It is one thing that can never be lost in a culture no matter what it goes through. The Philippines, having a rich culture, also has its own share of art that is discovered and practiced, and applied in the day to day living.



This is one living tradition that is kept and preserved until the present. Existed since the pre-colonial times, this art done by the Cordillera tribes from the North is still being done even though a threat of more practical and convenient mass production of cloth is already discovered. To make this, a back strap loom is being used by the natives in order to create a very well-done product purely made of their hands. One example is the Pinya Cloth of Antique, a fragile and superb hand woven cloth made of fibers that can be extracted from the leaves of a pineapple plant. The Philippine national costume for men, Barong Tagalog, is a famous product out of Pineapple cloth.



Mainly used in the daily lives of the people in Cordillera, baskets are used for their occupation where they keep and store their foods as they go to the mountain terraces to cultivate lands. Baskets for them give a lot of uses: they use it for carrying grains, while fishing in the streams, or during animal hunting. Fish traps come in baskets made of bamboo where the shape and size of the baskets depend on the kind of fish they want to catch.



Discovered and existed since the 16th century, jewelry making has been a common skill of the early Filipinos since it was adopted from the Asian neighbors. A common source of livelihood in the past, this is typically a home-based industry that includes the production of precious metal jewelries which are made of gold and silver, and the production of nonmetal jewelries such as pearls and precious stones.