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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

1st Inaul Festival showcases Maguindanao’s centuries-old weave

COTABATO CITY – The 1st Inaul Festival that features Maguindanao’s famous weave will be held here from February 9 to 14, according to Ayesha Mangdadatu-Dilangalen, Tourism Secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), who said the festival would provide a better understanding of inaul, which was created by Maguindanaons centuries ago. 

During a media briefing held here, Sec. Dilangalen noted that aside from clothes, the event would also exhibit products, such as furniture and accessories that use the inaul fabric, which is usually made from cotton or silk. Inaul is generally used for malong, a traditional garb among the natives of Mindanao. 

Sec. Dilangalen said the demand for inaul has significantly increased since the holding of a fashion show in Davao City last month that featured Mindanao fabrics with Miss Universe candidates as models. Local inaul weavers, she said, have not been able to meet the increase in local and foreign demand in recent weeks noting further that the Maguindanao fabric would also be featured in an exhibition in Berlin, Germany scheduled next month.

The ARMM Tourism secretary said the solution to the current problem is to convince local women to participate in a training program on inaul weaving that the government would launch. The proposal, she said, is to conduct a livelihood weave camp to be held at the Women’s Training Center in Buluan in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The training program would initially cover 15 women weavers that would be selected from applications coming from Maguindanao towns.

While the Mindanao Tapestry fashion show held on January 19 successfully promoted Mindanao-woven fabrics that are not adequately available even in the local market, it also generated criticism for not giving accurate information on the fabrics’ origin and background. 

An example is the Yakan tennun of Basilan province that was mentioned during the Davao fashion show as coming from the Zamboanga Peninsula. In a privilege speech at the House of Representatives on January 23, Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman said the colors, patterns and techniques of the Yakan tennun were created in Basilan centuries ago. (Bureau of Public Information)

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