History and Culture
Tinalak and Dagmay: A Double Mindanaoan Weaving Treat
Ida Damo | Oct 08, 2018
Weaving is an integral part of the cultural tribes of Mindanao. It is in different forms--- cloth, baskets, and mats.
Two woven cloths share commonalities, that of being made from abaca and its design being handed down through generations--- the Tinalak and the Dagmay.
Much has been written about the fabric that is the product of the dreamweavers, the Tinalak. Its design come from the Gods through the weavers’ dreams and is passed on from generations, hence the name.
The school of living tradition in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato ensures that the art and science of weaving the Tinalak is preserved and together with it is the culture and traditions of the Tboli.
Made of abaca fiber and dyed with natural pigments from seeds, barks, leaves and other plant-based ingredients, womenfolk weave the fabric accompanied by talks and sharing of stories.
The Tinalak is given importance during the Tinalak Festival every July in Koronadal, South Cotabato and the fabric is displayed in its rawness, in designs that showcase its flexibility, and woven publicly to give people a glimpse into the artistry that goes into its weaving.
The Dagmay of the Mandaya on the other hand is also made out of abaca that the community has planted, harvested, dried, dyed, and woven.
Its design is based on the everyday lives of the tribe, planting, harvesting, man’s role in the environment, plants, lizards, dreams, and patterns of nature. It is made from natural fibers and dyes from barks, seeds, and fruits.
The Dagmay is Davao Oriental’s woven treasure that is their source of pride.
None has preserved the art of weaving the Dagmay than the Mandaya of Sangab who produce the cloth and the beadwork for the accessories that go with the dagmay.
Every October, the Kalindugan Festival is held in Sangab and visitors get to see the culture of the Mandaya that showcases the production and art of the Dagmay.
The Tinalak and the Dagmay--- beautiful works of art that culture, passion, tradition, nature, and dreams has woven into rich and colorful tapestries.