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Chapter 4

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might
include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. The music
is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music
notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer (especially in cases where
the composer himself will perform the piece, as in the case of a blues solo guitarist or a folk music
fiddle player); as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble,
which could range in size from a duo or trio to a large big band, concert band or orchestra.
In a song that is otherwise sung, a section that is not sung but which is played by instruments can
be called an instrumental interlude, or if it occurs at the beginning of the song, before the singer
starts to sing, an instrumental introduction. If the instrumental section highlight the skill,
musicality, and often the virtuosity of a particular performer (or group of performers), the section
may be called a “solo” (e.g. the guitar solo that is a key section of heavy metal music and hard
rock songs). If the instruments are percussion instruments, the interlude can be called a percussion
interlude or “percussion break”. These interludes are a form of break in the song.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this chapter, the students will be able to:
 Identify the various genre of music:
 Make a creative interpretation of the different musical genre; and
 Translate sound or music into a new form and in a new context.
Lesson 1
Instrumental Music from Baroque to classical art
Baroque is the first period in which instrumental music is as important as vocal, sales of
instrumental music by the end of 1600’s.Violin is especially important in the rise of instrumental
music-growing popularity. Increasing number of amateur violinists created market for composers.
Instrumental techniques and quality improves instrumental virtuosos batch & Handel: Organ
Corelli & Vivaldi Scarlatti & Couperin: Harpsichord.
Vocal and Instrumental styles diverge idiomatic writing for particular instruments Composers
exploit the characteristics of individual instruments in their compositions growing use of
expressive gestures for instruments-program music

Baroque Instrumental Music

Baroque music is heavily ornamented style of music that came out of the Renaissance. While it is
often considered to be part of the era of Classical music, it is important to note that Baroque
predated the Classical period: The Baroque period lasted from 1600 until 1750, while the Classical
period spanned 1750-1820.
By the mid-eighteenth century, the focus shifts to the German composers Bach and Handel. Many
of the forms identified with Baroque music originated in Italy, including the cantata, concerto,
sonata, oratorio, and opera.
1. Johann Pachelbel-German composer known for his works for organ and one of the
greatest organ master of the generation before Johann Sebastian Bach. Pachelbel studied
music at Altdorf and Regensburg and held posts as organist in Vienna, Stuttgart, and other
All Pachelbel’s work is in a contrapuntally simple style. His organ composition show a
knowledge of Italian forms derived by Girolamo Frescobaldi through Johann Jakob Froberger.
Of special importance are his chorale preludes, which did much to establish the chorale
melodies of Protestant northern Germany in the more lyrical music atmosphere of the Catholic
south. His popular Pachelbel’s Canon in D was written for three violins and Basso Continuo
and was followed by a gigue in the same key as well as the Chaconne in F minor for organ
and Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variation. His son, Wilhem Hieronymous
Pachelbel, was also an organist and composer.

2. Antonio Vivaldi - Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, nicknamed il Prete Rosso (“The Red Priest”),
was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist;
he was born and raised in Republic of Venice at the Conservatorio dell’Ospedale della
Pieta. In September 1703, Vivaldi became maestro de violin (master of violin) at an
orphanage called the Pio Ospedale della Pieta (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.
While Vivaldi is most famous as a composer, he was regarded as an exceptional technical
violinist as well. Vivaldi, one of the Baroque era’s greatest composers, loved the violin. He
wrote over 500 concertos, nearly half of them with solo pieces for violinists. So picking
his top five greatest hits for violin was going to be a difficult task. Inevitability, some
people will be upset by work that did or did not make the list. However, there’s one point
everyone can agree on: what’s in the top spot.
The most famous works of Vivaldi are:
a. The Four Seasons, the first four concertos of a collection of twelve concertos written
by Vivaldi called II cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Contest Between
Harmony and Invention).
b. Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major, “La Tempesta Di Mare (The Storm at Sea). It’s one
of Vivaldi’s shorter concertos, but he packed quite a punch in there. The entire price is
high energy, filled with fresh, colourful, passages.
c. The Anna Maria Concertos. Vivaldi composed around 30 concertos for the most
favourite student of his, violinist Anna Maria.

3. Johann Sebastian Bach – Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, Eisenach,
Thuringia, Ernestine Saxon Duchies [Germany] – He was a composer of Baroque era and
the most celebrated member of a large family of north German musicians. Although he was
admitted by his contemporaries primarily as an outstanding harpsichordist, organist and
expert on organ building, Bach is now general regarded as one of the greatest composers
of all time (Banning, 2008).

Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint,

harmonic and motivic organization, and his adaptation of France. Bach’s compositions
includes hundreds of cantatas, both sacred and secular. He composed Latin Church music,
Passions, oratorios and motets. He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger
vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs. He wrote
extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for
instance for violin and for harpsichord, and suites as chambers music as well as for
orchestra. Many of his works employ the genres of cannon and fugue.

Among his famous works are: Brandenburg Concertos, the well-Tempered

Clavier, the Mass in B Minor, and numerous other masterpiece of church and instrumental
music, Bach was able to survey and bring together the principal styles, forms, and national
traditions that had developed during preceding generations and, by virtue of his synthesis,
enrich them all.
4. George Frederick Handel, German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, noted
particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. He wrote the most
famous of all oratorios, Messiah (1741), and is also known for such occasional pieces as
Water Music (1717) and Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749).
Though the bulk of his music was vocal, Handel was nevertheless one of the great
instrumental composer of the late Baroque era. His long series of overtures (mostly in the
French style), his orchestral concertos (Op.3 and Op.6), his large-scale concert music for
stings and winds 9 such as the Water Music and the Fireworks Music), and the massive
double concertos and organ concertos all show him to have been a completed master of the
orchestral means at his command (Buelow, 2004).
Handel also published harpsichord music, of which two sets of suites, the Suites de
pieces pour le clavecin of 1720 and the Suite de pie of 1733, containing 17 sets in all, are
his finest contribution to the instrument’s repertoire. The ever-popular Harmonioufs
Blacksmith variations are in No. 5 of the Suites de pieces of 1720. Handels finest chamber
mmusic consist of trio sonatas, notably those published as Six Sonatas for two Violins,
Oboes, or German Flutes and Continuo, Op. 2 (1733). He also wrote various sonatas dor
one or more than 20 organ concertos, most of which Handel used as intermission features
during performances of his oratorios (Burrows, 1994).
Handel is honoured with a feast day on 28 July in the liturgical calendar of the
Episcopal Church, with Johann Sebastian Bach and Henry Purcell. In the Lutheran
Calendar of Saints Handel and Bach share that date with Heinrich Schutz, and Handel and
Bach are commemorated in the calendar od saints prepared by the Order of Saint Luke for
the use of the United Methodist Church (Guthrie, 1995).

5. Franz Schubert – Franz Schubert, in full Franz Peter Schubert, was born January 31, 1797/
Himmelpfortgrund near Vienna Austria. Schubert was extremely prolific during his short
lifetime. His output consists of 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete
symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano
music, all before he died at the age of 31.
Appreciation of Schubert’s music while he was alive was limited to a relatively
small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in is work increased significantly I the
decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes
Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today,
Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early romantic
eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early 19th century
(Austin, 1873).
Schubert bridged the worlds of Classical and Romantic music, noted for the melody
and harmony in his songs (lieder)and chamber music. Among other works are Symphony
No. 9 in C Major (the Great;1828), Symphony in B Minor (Unfinished; 1822), masses,
and piano works.
The numerous compositions he wrote between 1813 and 1815 are remarkable for
their variety and intrinsic worth. They are the products of young genius, still short of
maturity but displaying style, originality, and imagination. Besides five string quartets,
there were three full-scale masses and three symphonies. His first full-length opera, Des
Teufels Lustschloss (The Devil’s Palace of Desire), was finished while he was at the
training college. But at this period song composition was his chief, all-absorbing interest.
On October 19, 1814 he first set to music a poem by Goethe, “Gretchen am Spinnrade”
(“Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel”), from Faust; it was his 30th song in this masterpiece he
created at one stroke the German lied (art song). The following year brought the
composition of more than 10 songs (Frost, 1915).

Classical Instrumental Music

Properly speaking, sonata form did not exist in the Baroque period; however the forms
which led to the standard definition did. In fact, there is a greater variety of harmonic patterns in
Baroque works called sonatas than in the Classical period. The sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti
provide examples of the range of relationships of theme and harmony possible in the 1730’s ad
1740’s. Among the famous composer during this period were:
1. Josef Haydn. Was born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria. This Austrian composer who
was one of the most important figures in the development of the Classical style in music
during the 18th century. He helped establish the forms and styles for the string quartet, and the
symphony. Because of this work, he was known as the Father of Quartet and the father of
Symphony (Rosen, 1997).
During the 1760s Haydn’s fame began to spread throughout Europe. The Austrian
and Czech monasteries did not much to disseminate his church music as well as
symphonies, divertimenti, sonatas, and concertos. Aristocratic patrons in south Germany,
Italy, and the Austrian empire assiduously collected his music, and their libraries would
eventually become important source for copies of his work.
The period from 1728 to about 1774 marks Haydn’s maturity as a composer. The
music written then, from the Stabat Mater (1767) to the large scale Missa Sancti Nicolai
(1772), would be sufficient to place him among the chief composer of the era. The many
operas he wrote during this years did not much enhance his own reputation and that of the
Esterhazy court. Among his other important works from this period are the string quartet
of opus 20, the Piano Sonata in C Minor, and the symphonies in minor keys, especially
the so-called Trauersymphonie in E Minor, No. 44 (“mourning symphony,”nso named
because its slow movement, which was a particular favourite of the composer, was
performed at the memorial service for Haydn) and the “farewell” Symphony. No. 45. For
reasons that have no historical grounding, this has come to be known as Haydn’s Sturm-
und-Drang ( storm and stress) period, after a literary movement that came somewhat later;
however inappropriate historically, the term does describe the character of many of these
works and in fact has come to stand for the turgid style they so often exhibit.

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born Jan. 27, 1756, at Salzburg, archbishopric of Salzburg
Austria and is considered greatest composer in the history of Western music.
With Haydn and Beethoven, he brought to its height the achievement of the Viennese
Classical school. Unlike any other composer in musical history, he wrote in all the musical
genres of his day and excelled in everyone. His taste, his command of form, and his range
of expression have made him seem the most universal of all composers; yet it may also b
said that his music was written to accommodate the specific taste of particular audience
(Abert, 2007).

Works and Compositions

Mozart is probably the only composer in history to have written undisputed
masterworks in virtually every musical genre of his age. His serenades and outdoor parties
of the nobility, have become synonymous with the Classical “age of elegance”, are perhaps
best exemplified by the well-known Serenade in G Major, which the composer called
Eine kleine Nachtmusik ( A little night music).
Mozart’s mature works comprises a virtual Honor roll of musical masterpieces: The
Mass in C Minor and the unfinished Requiem; The Serenade for thirteen wind Instruments
and the last six Symphonies. Mozart’s form, developed by him over time into works of
symphonic breadth and scope (Elsen, 2001)
Of Mozart’s operas Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), composed for the
Viennese court in 1786, is the earliest opera still found in the repertoire of virtually all of
today’s opera houses. Figaro was followed in 1787 by Don Giovanni (Don Juan), written
for Prague, where Figaro had been an overwhelming success.
Again he produced yet another masterpiece, tis time with the unconventional
combination of low comedy an high ideas. Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) tells of a
young prince who successfully endures the trials put to him by a fraternal priesthood in a
search for truth and love, while the everyman character of Papageno in his song Der
Vogelfanger bin ich, ja yearns for the earthly pleasures of wine, food, and female
3. Ludwig Van Beethoven is a German composer born on December 17, 1770 at Cologne,
Germany. Widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived, Ludwig Van Beethoven
dominates a period of musical history as no one else before or since
Rooted in the Classical traditions of Joseph Haydn and Mozart, his art reaches out
to encompass the new spirit of humanism and incipient nationalism expressed in the works
of Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller, his elder contemporaries in the world of literature;
the stringently redefined moral imperatives of Kant; and the ideals of the French
Revolution, with its passionate concern for the freedom and dignity of the individual
(Clive, 2011).
He revealed more vividly than any of his predecessors the power of music to convey
a philosophy of life without the aid of a spoken text; and in certain o his compositions is to
be found the strongest assertion of the human will to music, if not in all art. He defined in
connection with his six (Pastoral) symphony as “more expression of emotion than
painting.” His personal life was marked by a heroic struggle against encroaching deafness,
and some his important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life when he
was quite unable to here. He only maintained himself from the sale and publication of his
work but also was the first musician to receive a salary with no duties other than compose
how and when he felt inclined (Cooper, 2008).
Works and Music
Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest writers of music to here ever lived.
Having written hundreds of compositions, Beethoven has left the world with some of the most
beautiful and emotional music that has been ever heard. Hereunder is a list of his famous works
(Johnson, etc. 2007):
1. Symphony #7 Movement 2
2. Symphony #6 (The Pastoral) Movement 1
3. Piano Sonata #13 Movement 3
4. Piano and Sonata #14 (Moonlight) Movement 1
5. Violin Sonata #5 (Spring) Movement 2
6. Piano Trio #6 Movement 1 & 3
7. Violin Concerto Movement 2
8. Fidelio- The Prisoners Chorus
9. Missa Solemnis-Sanctus
10. Fur Elise

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this chapter, the students will be able to:

 Discuss the concept of soul making;
 Develop students’ artistic potentials through soul making;
 Enhance students’ sensitivity and awareness towards their environment;
 Draw out metaphor from local myths so that students will value cultural roots; and
 Develop students’ ability in manipulating the elements of art.



No one is really an expert in art. It is truly a lifetime process that never ends. Formal
training, though not critical, helps in the sense that it can speed up one’s learning, having the
benefit of many teachers’ and students’ experiences. A beginning art student will learn visual
perception (basic drawing), two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, history of western
art, perspective, lettering, color theory, figure drawing, and more; ceramics, sculpture,
photography, printmaking, art history, painting and more come after the first year.

Though perhaps not commonly known, it requires a lot of study to learn how to make art.
Even if self-taught, one must go to museums, galleries, read books, talk to other artists, etc. to
learn about painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography or contemporary media. It really must
become more than an area of study- it becomes a way of life, in that an artist is always an artist; it
is a characteristic rather than an activity. It means to always be searching, looking, thinking,

Many times a day, one will see things in nature, in a newspaper or magazine, when driving,
etc. that strike us, and try to make note of – for possible use in the future. It may be an object or
scene- but more often it is seeing a color relationship of two or more colors together; or n
interesting light effect; an arrangement of patterns in space. Try to remember to use those colors
in that relationship in a future painting; or that light effect, etc.

Soulmaking (Art Making)

Art making is a fun and rewarding way for people to express themselves and to learn a
broad range of skills and concepts. In making art, students explore the materials and techniques
used by artists and architects, and experience the decision-making practices that artists have used
over the centuries. While many art educators emphasize the creative process and exploration
through art, others focus on developing studio skills and a fully realized final product. Students
interested in working further in their craft become amateur or professional artists.
When educators emphasize the art making process over the final product, students increase
their sense of mastery, decision making and feeling of inclusion and independence, and ultimately
grow in self-awareness. Working in groups offers opportunities for shared risk taking and
completing works through teamwork, cooperation, and exchange of ideas.

When students make art, they have the opportunity to express their feelings. Fantasize, tell
stories, and give their ideas concrete form. They can reflect and draw upon their everyday
experiences and observations. Students find relationships between objects, consider alternatives,
and make choices. They identify with the ideas and feelings explored and expressed by well-known

Art making is a fascinating and effective way to introduce students to a wide variety of
textures and help them develop their tactile exploration skills. Younger students develop their
motor skills when working on construction or modelling projects that involve manipulating paper,
cardboard, clay, plaster and other materials.

The Art Making Process

In the art making process students received guided instructions on how to start and finish
a typical art of project using efficiency and best practices.

Phase One begins with sketching, grid-lining, drawing or filling in under-paintings. In this
phase, students learn about introductory best practices on techniques and approaches, and
understanding the art concept.

Phase Two includes adding multiple layers of tone, color or paint within an artwork. Here,
students are required to problem solve and are encouraged in their art to explore, manipulate and
master technique based art applications.

Phase Three ends with students adding final detail and craftsmanship showcasing their
finished projects. This includes demonstrating the understanding of the art elements, habits of mind
and effort, communication skills, habits of work, composition concepts, and execution into a well
crafted project.

Stages of Art Making

Art doesn’t just happen. Whether it’s a simple line drawing or an involved, realistic
painting, there is a define trajectory to the creative process. Beginning with the spark of inspiration
and finishing with the completion of a work, this illustrated guy portrays the five stages of creating

1. Inspiration – This is one of the most exciting moments in the process of creating
art: that beautiful moment when inspiration strikes. Where does inspiration come
from? Well, that’s a subject that has baffled and mystified people for centuries.
Perhaps it’s a film or piece of fine art that inspires you; perhaps it’s something from
nature or an event that has occurred in your life. Sometimes, an idea seems to come
out of nowhere. Wherever ideas come from, they have an uncanny way of striking
at the oddest moments: while waiting for the bus, in the middle of rush hour, or
while you’re in a bath.

2. Percolation – While it’s not the most glamorous part of the creative process, the
“percolation” period is vital to creating art. Basically, this is the time that elapses
after you’ve had your idea, but before you start making art. It can transpire in many
different ways.

Sometimes this involves refining your idea by making sketches and tossing
out just as many or playing around with ideas visually. Other times, it’s just a matter
of giving an idea space to germinate. Sometimes, you may have an idea year before
you create the piece of artwork it inspired. It doesn’t mean you’ve been resting on
your laurels that entire time, though. There’s part of you that is always processing
and refining your idea.

3. Preparation – Preparation can be confused with the “percolation” period, but it is

a more active and focused time. You’ve settled on your inspiration and how’d you
like to proceed. Now, it’s a matter of figuring out how to make it happen.

Preparation includes the time spent obtaining and organizing your supplies,
plus creating a blueprint for what your piece will be. Maybe that means making
roughs or creating a dummy outline for a book project.

4. Creation – Finally, it’s time to make it happen! Creation is the time during which
you are solidly on your path. You have your pen to paper, your brush to canvas.
You are creating.
The process of creation can vary depending on your personal temperament,
your artistic style and your medium. For some, the process of creation is actually
quite short and much of the work has been done in the previous phases – for
instance, a simple line drawing. While it take minutes to complete the drawing, the
thought and time developing that idea was the more time-consuming part of that

For a detailed printing, it might be just the opposite – you might spend
hours, days or weeks refining the perfect light on a realistically painted flower petal
in oil.

5. Reflection – After you create a piece of art, there might be a slight tizzy of activity:
sharing it with family and friends, delivering it to a client or hanging it on the wall.
But regardless of the end point of the art, it’s completion often leads to a period of
This reflection will be different for everyone. For some artists, there’s a sort
of low-grade post-creative depression that occurs, making them feel a little empty
and “spent.” For others, there’s relief: “It’s done! I can move on to the next thing!”
For others, there are regrets: “I wish I had made this line longer, I wish I had made
that part of the composition blue.”

Regardless of how it feels to create a piece, though, it’s a completion is a

milestone. But your creative work isn’t done forever: it won’t be too long before
the entire cycle begins again!

Seven Da Vincian Principle

One of the biggest questions about innovation is “how do we maintain it over time?” after
all, there are lots of one hit wonders, but only a few people can continue to come up with innovative
ideas on an ongoing basis.

While it would be impossible to do justice to this genius in one blog post, hereunder is the
Seven Da Vincian Principles that help define da Vinci’s approach to life and as such innovation
(Gelb, 1998). Those seven principles are:

1. Curiosita (Curiosity): An insatiable curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for
continuous learning. After all, have you ever met a successful person who does not claim
to be a veracious learner?
2. Dimonstrazione (Demonstration): A commitment to test knowledge through experience,
persistence and a willingness to learn from past mistakes. This is pretty much the scientific
method applied to everyday life. Thinking back to our WD 40 example in an earlier
discussion, it wasn’t the first effort that worked, it was the 40th.
3. Sensazione (Sensation): Continual refinement of the senses as the means to enliven
experience. To be innovative we must be aware of what is going on around us. One of the
important business topics that it relates to that is active listening. Far too often in business
we only listen passively and as a result miss vital information that could serve as the
inspiration for some new idea.
4. Sfumato (Going Up in Smoke): The literal translation for this term is going up in smoke.
It is about our willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty. As the old
saying goes, the only two things that are certain in business are uncertainty and change.
5. Arte?Scienza (Art and Science): Developing balance between logic and imagination.
After all, imagination without logic is day dreaming, and logic without imagination is
boring. Other terms for this are balancing between art and science as well as whole brain
6. Corporalita (Of the Body): This is about maintaining a healthy body as well as a healthy
mind. Have you ever seen a really unhealthy person who was creative? While there are a
few exceptions here and there, they are very rare. One of the core concepts of da Vinci’s
approach is keeping our bodies fit being a function of keeping our minds fit. Fit minds lead
to more innovative and creative solutions.
7. Connessione (Connection): This is the simple recognition of the interconnectedness of all
things and phenomena. As we talked about early on, it isn’t always just an issue of coming
up with something totally new, sometimes it is about seeing the links between how to use
old things in new ways.

Acts of Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements
of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture (Young, 2010). It is distinguished from
equal cultural exchange due to the presence of a colonial element and imbalance of power

We live in a culture that overflows with images and objects. From television to the Internet,
from the mail tp the junkyard, we are surrounded by words, images, and objects that are cheap, or
free and throwaway. It is not surprising that artists today incorporate this stuff into their creative

Appropriation is the practice of creating new work by taking a preexisting image from
another source – art history books, advertisements, the media – and transforming or combining it
with new ones. The three-dimensional version of appropriation is the use of found objects in art.
A found object is an existing object – often a mundane manufactured product – given a new
identity as an artwork or part of an artwork.

Some common sources of appropriated images are works of art from the distant or recent
past, historical documents, media (film and television), or consumer culture (advertisements or
products). Sometimes the source is unknown, but it may have personal associations for the artist.
The source of an appropriated image or object can be politically charged, symbolic, ambiguous,
or can push the limits of imagery deemed acceptable for art.

Many artworks, actually, were composed of objects appropriated by everyday life, like
clothes, newspapers, etc. and inserted on the canvas. Marcel Duchamp was among the first artists
using “readymade” objects in art, as they were produced. Famous is his piece “Fountain” where
he just used an ordinary urinal. Also important is the new signature the artist apposes at the
appropriated image since it expresses another layer of performative agency. Peggy Phelan claims
that “signature verifies the authentic, singular subject, while the practice of signing repeats and
copies a precious version of the unique.

Cultural appropriation can involve the use of ideas, symbols, artifacts, or other aspects of
human-made visual or non-visual culture (Schneider, 2003).

Cultural appropriation is often portrayed as harmful in contemporary cultures, and is

claimed to be a violation of the collective intellectual property rights of the originating, minority
cultures, notably indigenous cultures and those living under colonial rule. Often unavoidable when
multiple culture come together, cultural appropriation can include using other culture’s cultural
and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language, and songs.
Often, the original meaning of these cultural elements is lost or distorted, and such display
are often viewed as disrespectful, or even as a form of desecration, by members of the originating

What makes cultural appropriation bad is that the dominant culture that appropriation
elements of from another usually are ignorant of the original context why said cultural elements
existed in the first place. And what’s worse, the dominant culture does not bother to learn said

The act of appropriation I basically exploitative in nature because it robs minority cultures
of the credit they deserve. This is especially true when it comes to art forms and music, where the
borrowing dominant culture is perceived as creative and innovative while the original culture is
perceive as lacking in the same, where the truth is, said culture was the one who came up with the
music and the art forms in the first place.

The differences between the types of appropriation are crucial in determining whether and
how an instance of appropriation is objectionable. There are at least five quite different sorts of
activity called cultural appropriation:

1. Object Appropriation – This appropriation occurs when the possession of a tangible

object (such as sculpture) is transferred from members of one culture to members of
another culture. The removal of the decorations from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin is often
regarded as a case of material appropriation. The transfer of a totem pole from the site of
Haida village to a museum is another case of material appropriation.

2. Content Appropriation – This form of appropriation involved the reproduction, by a

member of one culture, of non-tangible works of art (such as stories, musical compositions
or dramatic works) produced by some other culture. Musician who sings the songs of
another culture has engaged in non-material appropriation, as has the writer who retells
stories produced by a culture other than his own. The Letterman’s rendition of Dahil Sa
Iyo could be an instance of content appropriation.

3. Stylistic Appropriation – Sometimes artists do not reproduce works produced by another

culture, but still take something from that culture. In such cases, artists produce works with
stylistic elements in common with the works of another culture. White musicians who
compose jazz or blues music are often said to have engaged in appropriation in this sense.
Similarly, white Australians who paint in the style of the aboriginal peoples would be
engaged in stylistic appropriation. The use of coat and tie by Filipinos is another example.

4. Motif Appropriation – This form is related to a stylistic appropriation. Sometimes artists

are influenced by the art of a culture other than their own without creating works in the
same style. Picasso, for example, was influenced by African carving, but his works are not
in an African style. Similarly, Ravel was influenced by the jazz of African-Americans, but
his compositions are not in a jazz idiom. Rather than appropriating an entire style, such
artists have appropriated only basic ideas or motifs.
5. Subject Appropriation – This occurs when someone from one culture represents members
or aspects of another culture. Many of Joseph Conrad’s novels involve subject
appropriation, since Conrad frequently wrote about cultures other than his own. W.P.
Kinsella’s stories about the Hobbema Indian reserve are often cited as examples of
objectionable subject appropriation.

Many people who have written on cultural appropriation have not been sensitive to the
difference between the various types of appropriation. Reasons may exist for thinking that
instances of one sort of appropriation are objectionable. The same reasons may be unable to show
that another sort of appropriation is in the least problematic.
Nevertheless, artists do make ethical decisions in such areas as the appropriation of other’s
work, what materials they use in their work and how they use them, the digital manipulation of
their work, and what role they play as observers of the events they capture in their art. And, as we
have seen, museums and other places in which art is exhibited play distinct roles and have
responsibilities in how art is preserved, interpreted, and displayed.


The craft of designing or creating textiles – materials composed of a web of natural or

artificial fibers – spans global cultures and represents one of the earliest human technologies.
Techniques for producing them include weaving, crocheting, knitting, felting, pleating and
looping, resulting in an extraordinary range of materials (cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc.). Textiles
have long served various purposes, including the decorative, for instance in tapestries and rugs.
The 230 ft. long Bayeux Tapestry (1070-1080 A.D.), for example, serves as an important historical
document in the telling of the Norman conquest in England in 1066 A.D. In the 20th century, as
with many other mediums, artists began to use textiles in new contexts as well as explore the social
and conceptual implications of their usage.

Textile Art

Textile art is the process of creating something using fibers gained from sources like plants,
animals, insects or synthetic materials. Making textiles is an extremely old art form. Textile
fragments have been found dating back to prehistoric times and there’s a good reason for this.
Think of how cold winter can be. How would you feel if you didn’t have warm clothing? People
developed textiles to keep warm, to protect surfaces and to insulate dwellings.

Examples of such textiles include tapestries, rugs, quilts, and of course, clothing. People
also used textiles to make objects that signaled status or commemorated important events.
Examples of this type of textile include things like flags, military uniforms, or ceremonial banners.

The textile art also includes those techniques which are used to embellish or decorate
textiles – dyeing and printing to add color and pattern; embroidery and other types of needlework;
tablet weaving; and lace-making. Construction methods such as sewing, knitting, crochet, and
tailoring, as well as the tools employed (looms and sewing needles), techniques employed (quilting
and pleating) and the objects made 9carpets, kilims, hooked rugs, and coverlets) all fall under the
category of textile arts.

The Tnalak Process

The T’nalak is a traditional cloth woven by the T’boli women of Lake Sebu and to them
this unique fabric represents birth, life, union in marriage and death. It is often used as blankets nd
clothing and in rare occasions, it is used in the royal wedding ceremonies. The T’nalak is sacred
and represents the T’boli uniqueness and identity as indigenous group of people.

Making the T’nalak is a skill that young T’boli women learn through their mothers,
grandmothers and even sisters. Most of the existing weavers today come from the generation of
T’nalak weavers that go back to their ancestors. The young T’boli women are introduced to the
process by first assisting in the initial stages. As they progress, they move on the dyeing, weaving
and tying of the knots. It can take around one to five years of constant practice for a T’boli woman
to fully learn the full production method.
Weaving T’nalak is a tedious and requires numerous steps for a single cloth to be
completed. Hereunder are the process to be undertaken in weaving a T’nalak (oneweave.org):

Step 1: Kedungon or Abaca Plant. Harvesting of the abaca and the stripping of the fibers.
Making the T’nalak begins by gathering the raw material used in weaving found in the stems of
the abaca plant or the kedungon. This plant is from the same family as the banana tree.

The harvesting requires physical brawn and this important task is designated to T’boli.
Before harvesting begins, he sets up a prayer table and says a prayer to Fu Dali. With a sharp knife,
he slashes the tree diagonally at a few inches from the ground.

In order to produce a 14-meter long t’nalak, six abaca plants must be harvested. In
addition, plants need to be two to three years old and the diameter of their trunks at about 14-18

The trunk is then stripped off its layers and the first few pieces are laid on a triangular
offering table for Fu Dalu. The succeeding strips are then inserted between a block of wood held
securely to a horizontal beam with a large knife pressing down on it. The abaca harvester would
then pull the stalk through the two, separating the pulp from the abaca fiber.

After stripping, the fibers would have to be combed immediately so as to remove the sap
that cause the darkening of the strands. It is hung from a house beam and combed with the fingers
where the weaver selects and separates the fibers according to their thickness. During the selection
of the fibers, the whiter and finer threads found in the inner stalks are separated from the coarser
ones. The fibers are spread on a beam and left to dry inside the house.

Step 2: Tembong or Connecting. Segregating the fibers and connecting them from end
to end. After air-drying the newly harvested fibers for at least 24 hours or until they are adequately
supple, the fibers are grouped into wrist-size bundles. To soften the fibers, the women take the
abaca strands and hand-rub or squeeze them, using a motion like washing clothes, to make them
pliant. This motion produces a zigzag pattern which helps the weavers identify and segregate the
strands according to quality. Fine fibers are reserved for the warp or the lengthwise threads, and
the thicker fibers are used for the weft or the crosswise threads.

Once dried, the women individually connect the fibers from end to end by tying tiny knots.
The ends are cut with a suk t’bong (small weaver’s blade) in order to make the connections
invisible. They are the bundled together by winding the threads around a bamboo warp frame as a
set of three and placed in baskets. It ca take a weaver up tp two weeks to be able to complete the
standard length needed for the T’nalak. Around 35-40 blitus or bundles, with each bundle having
100-200 fibers of 1.5-2.5 meters in length, are needed to complete a 10 meter by 63 centimeters
wide piece of T’nalak.

Step 3: Semdang or Setting. Preparing or setting the fibers on the loom for knotting. Once
the raw material has been prepared, the connected fibers that make up the warp are set on the gono
smoi or loom. This special loom is composed of a comb-like wooden frame with teeth pointing
upwards to preserve the fibers’ length and silkiness. After the fibers are smoothened out, they are
placed evenly and closely spread on the gono smoi and held in place by a teladay or wooden bar
that is laid across and directly over the fiber.

Step 4: Mebed or Designing. Knotting the fibers prior to resist-dyeing. The next phase is
the design process called mebed, which begins on the tying frame. This delicate task of knotting
the warp for the resist-dye method determines the design of the t’nalak. This is a tedious and
intricate process, that can take up to four to five weeks as knot after knot is tied into place.

Without the use of any physical sketches or patterns, the women carefully tie knots on the
warp according to a mental picture of the traditional design.

The tying is done by first grouping fibers into four or five. Depending on the intricacy of
the design, they are then knotted together using t= separate piece of abaca that is dyed black and
coated with beeswax.

Since the knots determine the area which must not be dyed, the knots must be very tight.
The first knots tied are reserved for preserving the natural color of the abaca. The second set of
knots are for the areas to be dyed red. This whole process takes place during the day where there
is plenty of light.

Step 5: Temogo or dying and Hemto or untying of knots. Gathering and preparing the
natural dyes, dyeing the warp and untying the knots, a t’nalak is defined by using the three
traditional colors: black, red and white. In coloring the abaca strands, the T’boli women make use
of natural dyes found in vegetation around their area. This process of resist-ye is commonly known
as the ikat method that is shared with the neighboring countries of Indonesia and Thailand.

Hitem, or the black dye, is derived from leaves of the K’nalum tree. Once rice sack full
worth of leaves is gathered, pounded, placed into a large pot of water, and boiled. After two to four
hour, the bed or tied fibers are placed inside. The cooking of the fibers takes an average of three
weeks with the fire being refueled three times each day and the leaves and berries replaced every
two days. It is important that the strands are evenly and fully coated.

Once fully absorbed with the deepest black, the tied fibers are removed and rinsed in
running water through a stream until the water runs clear. It is then air dried for about two days
before the knots that have been tied, reserved for the red portions, are carefully removed with the
suk t’bong or small knife.

Hulo, or the red dye, is taken from the roots and bark shavings of the smalls leafed loko
tree. Around one kilogram of the loko’s bark and roots are boiled in water for another half hour.
The bed is then added and allowed to boil from five days to one week. Once done, the bed is
removed and rinsed thoroughly until the water runs clear and then air-dried.

On the next day, the knots that were used to protect the bukay, the natural creamy white or
ecru color, of the abaca strands are removed to reveal its natural color. Finally, the last stage
involves the gentle separation of the untied and dyed fibers and combing them to prepare the bed
for weaving on the backstrap loom.
Step 6: Mewel or Weaving. Setting the dyed warp on the backstrap loom. The T’boli
backstrap loom or the legogong, is a form of horizontal two-bar or two-beamed loom where one
bar is attached to the ceiling bamboo beam of the T’boli longhouse and the second beam, or the
backstrap, is attached to the weaver’s lower back.

The longhouse is a structure specifically built for the production of the t’nalak. Because
the length of the t’nalak can exceed over 10 meters, a horizontal structure is needed. In addition,
the t’nalak must be woven in a cool area or the fibers will snap.

When the t’nalak weaver works, she weaves in a rhythm. After passing the shuttle through
the threads, she pushes the threads to tighten using a flat piece of coconut wood made smooth and
shiny with use. She does this three times in order to ensure that the weaves are tight so that when
held up against the light, the t’nalak blocks as much light from passing through. The weaving stage
can take around 14 days to a month depending on the “character” of the fiber and the complexity
of the design.

After the T’nalak has been fully woven, the fabric is thoroughly washed in a cold river so
that the entire piece can be stretched following the water flow. Once it has been slightly air-dried,
the t’nalak is then beaten repeatedly with a hard and round wooden stick in order to flatten the
knots. This helps to smoothen its surface in preparation for burnishing.

Step 7: Semaki or Ironing. Burnishing the surface of the t’nalak. The final phase of
producing the T’nalak involves burning the surface with a saki or cowrie shell while the fabric is
still moist. This shell is attached to one end of a bamboo stick while the other end attached to a
hole in the ceiling of the longhouse to help apply additional pressure to the procedure. This task
involves a strong body, as the shell is firmly rubbed repeatedly on the t’nalak in order to flatten it
and produced an even coruscating gloss.

Once the burnishing is done, the t’nalak is washed in cold water at a steady flowing strea,
after which it is hung and dried. When completed, the t’nalak is stored by rolling it and wrapping
it with a separate cloth to protect it from damage.

T’nalak and T’boli Art

The T’boli are famous for their dream-inspired and spirit infused. T’nalak weavings, but
also for their embroidery, brass casting and other crafts. T’nalak weaving is an art from perfected
over decades of practice by T’boli women, and only a handful of master weavers can be considered
true ‘dream weavers’, the works of whom are highly valued.

T’nalak, a deep brown abaca-based cloth tie-dyed with intricate designs, is produced by
women of Mindanao’s T’boli Tribe. It is one of the best known cultural products of the Philippines.

T’nalak production is a labor intensive process requiring a knowledge of a range of skills

learned from a young age by the women of the tribe. First, abaca fiber is stripped from the abaca
tree, cleaned, dried and separated into strands. These strands are then carefully selected, hand ties
and rolled into balls. Natural vegetable dyes produced by the T’boli weavers themselves are used
to stain these hand spun abaca fibers. The T’nalak is then woven, usually in tones or fed, brown
and black, with the end product requiring months of work to produce a single, unique weaving.

T’nalak has great significance for the T’boli. T’nalak designs have been passed down
through generations and come to the best weavers in dreams, brought to them by their ancestors.
T’nalak weavings are one of the traditional properties exchanged at the time of marriage and are
used as a covering during birth to ensure safe delivery. The T’boli believe that the T’nalak is
infused with spiritual meaning, and as such there are a variety of traditions surrounding its
production and use. One should not step over a weaving in progress, and doing so is to risk illness.
Cutting the cloth will cause sickness or death, unless done according to traditions. If a weaving is
sold, a brass ring is often attached to appease the spirits. And while weaving a T’nalak, T’boli
women practice abstinence in order to maintain the purity of their art.

The T’boli have a variety of other traditional art products. The skills inherent in production
of these T’boli products are highly valued, and as such many women learn each from their mothers
and grandmothers. The T’boli are excellent embroiderers and brass casters, with their products
prized well beyond the borders of their community. T’boli jackets are a sought after fashion
accessory with high society women in Manila, for example. They are also known for their bread
jewelry and wood carving. Rounding out these cultural practices are a rich tradition of dancing,
singing, and instrument playing, and T’boli musicians and dancers have performed at major events
around the world.


The Mandaya is one of Mindanao’s surviving minority tribes of the Philippines. They live
in the mountainous areas above the coastal town of Davao Oriental particularly in Boston, Cateel,
Bagangga, Carag and Manay. For many generations the Mandaya have woven cloth from fibers of
native abaca tree, a variety of the banana family, which is abundant in the region. The finest grade
of hemp extracted from abaca stalks is stripped pounded, combed then prepared for dyeing by
tying thus, the word tie-dye. The dyes are made from mud, root and other organic materials.

This cloth is known locally as dagmay. It is distinguished from other tribal weaving by the
intricate figures and patterns depicting the folklores and religion of the tribe. The Mandaya have
carried the human and crocodile motifs to their highest expression. The crocodile is held sacred as
shown by the frequency with which it appears in their decorative design. This art is handled down
from generation. There are no patterns copy. Each design is an expression of the weaver. The
unique culture of dagmay weaving by the Mandayan tribe earned them the title “Lumad that Weave

An indigenous people group Sildap is working on a book on the 11 tribes in Mindanao and
in one of their research, has come upon the story of the origin of the dagmay among the Mandaya
tribe. In Sildaps version, a tamisa was in a river, when he saw a beautiful cloth in a rock near the
Balete tree. The cloth was so beautiful he decided to bring it home. When the Tagamaling (spririt
living in the Balete) found that he lost the cloth, he was very mad and cursed the one who took it.
You’ll die, wrapped by the clothe you’ve stolen. Right in that instant, the boy died and the people
asked forgiveness from the Tagamaling. The Tagamaling appeared in their dreams, finally
appeased, and taught them how to make the dagmay.

Among the Mandayas, the dagmay has been worn as women’s skirts but it is also used as
blankets and to wrap the dead.

Each design, however, carries with it a certain story. Most of the traditional designs, which
can easily date back to over a hundred years, have come to them in dreams.

The designs that include the binaybayan, the otaw (man), the potalla, buaya (crocodile),
bilaan and the utaw and the kallungnan (which refers to the poles where the dagmay cloth is rolled,
represented by stripes in the design).


Pis Syabit is the traditional cloth tapestry made from cotton or silk worn as a head covering
by the Tausug of Sulu. The most recognized community of Pis Syabit weavers in Sulu are from
Barangay Guimba Lagasan in the town of Parang. This is also where the late master weaver
Darhata Sawabi, a GAMABA Awardee of 2005 (National Living Treasure) came from.

These community of weavers are well known for their expertise in the craft, their bold
contrasting colors, evenness of their weave and their faithfulness to traditional designs.

Unlike other traditional weaves, Pis Syabit are intricately woven at the houses of the
Tausugs. Most of the elder weavers devoted their full time to their craft. They even teach and pass
on this tradition to interested young generation. Pis syabit weaving is a difficult art. Preparing the
warp alone already takes three days. It is a very mechanical task, consisting of stringing black and
red threads across a banana and bamboo frame to form the base of the tapestry.

Pis Syabit is characterized with intricate geometric patterns of colors segmented into the
smallest squares, triangles and diamonds. It is a multi-purpose head wear that maybe worn on the
shoulder, tied along the hilt of the kris or wrap around the head used by the Tausug men, usually
as a sign of rank. In modern times, pis syabit is also used to decorate households such as frames,
curtains and giveaways.

Sawabi remains faithful to the art of ps syabit weaving. Her strokes are firm and sure, her
color sensitivity acute, and her dedication to the quality of her products unwavering. She
recognized the need for her to remain in the community and continue with her mission to teach the
art of pis syabit weaving. She had, after all, already been teaching the young women of Parang
how to make a living from their woven fabrics. Some of her students are already teachers
themselves. She looks forward to sharing the tradition of pis syabit weaving to the younger

The Yakans settled originally in Basilan island n in the early seventies, due to political
unrest which led the armed conflicts between the militant Muslims and government soldiers, some
of them settled in the region of Zamboanga City. The Yakan village in Upper Calarian is famous
among local and foreign tourists because of their art of weaving. Traditionally, they have used
plants like pineapple and abaca converted into fibers as basic material for weaving. Using herbal
extracts from leaves, roots and bark, the Yakans dyed the fibers and produced colorful
combinations and intricate designs.

The seputangan is the most intricate design worn by the women around their waist or as a
head cloth. The warp and primary weft are of cotton and the supplementary weft is silk. The
supplementary weft work is discontinuous, a type of work in which the various colors re inserted
in the proper place by hand.

Yakan people are recognized for their remarkable technicolor geometric weaves and the
distinctive face decorations used in their traditional ceremonies. The Yakan are kind and loving
people that embody a non-materialistic culture and live in close knit communities.


Unlike other traditional weaves from various ethnic groups in the country which now only
uses loom product on special occasions, the inaul is still very much an everyday item in
Maguindanao province.

Inaul is a time-honored weaving tradition of the Maguindanao people usually made into
malong or wraparound skirts commonly and regularly used by both sexes. The Maranaos of
Marawi City also has this weaving tradition.

Inaul has more than 20 designs with riyal the heirloom piece being the rarest since it is no
longer being produced and hard to find. Other notable designs include umpak which is
embroidered-laden and hard to do, ibinaludto or rainbow, panigabi or taro, and the rare tie-dye
binaludan called ikat by the T’boli and the people of Cirdillera.

The three types of threads being used in weaving are tanor which is cottony, the silky
rayon, silky rayon, and katiyado which is the shiny type. Rayon and tanor can be mixed together
to form a malong called “mestiza.”

The color are also reflective of the Maguindanao culture. Red means bravery, green for
peace, black for dignity, white for sadness and green means peace.

Today, inaul is no longer confined to malong and is now being made into modern clothing
such as gowns, polo and trouser. (Inquirer.net).

Given the focus and promotion earned by Inaul through the Inaul Festival, the fabric was
catapulted into the limelight resulting to the continued rising of the demand for this cultural icon.
Chapter 6

Admittedly the creation of things for use is the basic motivating force in the
practical operations of man. But amazingly his endeavors have never been merely
utilitarian. An unconscious desire to beautify all that he has or does has led him to
seek the elements of beauty and to integrate them with the purpose of his living.
The Philippine visual arts encompass a range of forms developed by Filipinos
in the Ethnic, Spanish, American, and featured thumb of contemporary traditions.
In ethnic communities, pottery, weaving, carving, and metalcraft are made for
ritual purposes or for everyday use. Spanish colonization introduced painting and
sculpture whose subject matter was for the most part religious, although secular
themes and forms emerged in the 19th century under the patronage of the new
mestizo elite. The American period witnessed the conflict between conservatism
and modernism, with the latter gaining ground in the end in painting and sculpture.
After World War II artists explored a variety of Western and Eastern styles, media,
and philosophies—some consciously going back to ethnic roots—to express
themselves as individuals and as Filipinos.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this chapter, the students will be able to:
Analyze how line is interpreted and utilized in traditional crafts;
Develop students’ ability in manipulating the elements of arts; and
Document changes and the shifting environment such as terrain, texture,
sound through fusion of various elements of art.
Motifs and Symbols

Since the man began to give shape to the materials provided by nature for
meeting his rudimentary requirements, he has never been able to resists the
inward urge to adorn and beautify his possessions and surroundings. All these
efforts have led to the creation of motifs from different origins, organizing them in
suitable layouts. This gave the uniqueness to the motifs used in traditional Indian

Decorative Motifs and Symbols Classification

There are times when we do not understand what is being meant by a word,
a thought, an act, or a thing. We need other things to describe them in order to
properly understand their meanings. This is particularly true when we are dealing
with works of arts and in the literary world. This is why symbols and motifs are
created: to help us understand.

A motif is an image, spoken or written word, sound, act, or another visual or
structural device that has symbolic significance. It is used to develop and inform
the theme of the literary work. The concept of a motif is related to a theme, but
unlike a theme which is an idea or message, a motif is a detail that is repeated in a
pattern of meaning that can produce a theme while creating other aspects at the
same time.
It is closely related to a theme or a symbol and uses different narrative
elements. It is constantly repeated to represent a dominant or central idea or
theme in a work of art. It relates more thought which is used to support a theme.

Motifs typically are used in one of three ways:

A single object that appears multiple times throughout the work with most
of the emphasis placed on the item.
A collection of related objects that appear multiple times to emphasize the
A collection of seemingly unrelated items that serve to draw attention to the
theme in a subtler manner.

Classification of Motif
The motifs or units of a textile design may be classified as: Geometric,
Realistic or Natural, Stylized, Abstract.
As symbols can be used to change the meaning of a word or phrase, they can
change the way we view things. To get the meaning of a word, it is necessary to use
symbols so that it can be understood well. The meaning of a symbol depends largely
on its usage, its history, and purpose.
A very fine example of a symbol is the cross. It is used to symbolize
Christianity, the religion which is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who was
crucified. The cross is also use to remind Christians about how Christ suffered in
order to save them.

Types of Symbols
1. Iconograms are illustrative representations. They are iconic signs which, as
an illustrative representation, emphasize the points in common between the
signifier and the signified.
2. Pictograms are pictorial representations, such as ISOTYPE. Pictograms are
iconic signs which represents complex facts, not through words or sounds
but through visual carriers of meaning.
3. Cartograms are topographical representations with complex functions
(statics, etc.) and iconic facts, for example an atlas or the ground plan of a
4. Diagrams are functional representations. They are visual signs which are
partly iconic representations, but are more functional carriers that illustrate,
for example, a sequence of facts of functions.
5. Ideograms represents a concept. Typically, ideograms correspond to the
sign as a symbol which relates to the object or concept referred to,
independently of any format identification with it. (Note that many symbols
can fall into multiple categories, but the context and intention will help us
understand how to “read” them.
6. Logograms are conceptual representations like writing. They are visual,
referential linguistic signs that do not take the phonetic dimension into
7. Typograms are typographical representations. A typogram is a sign that is
also composed of a sign, derived from a written repertoire such us the
8. Phonograms are phonic representations. A phonogram is a sign that is used
to signify linguistic or other sounds.

Indigenous Philippine Arts and Crafts

One of the most precious traditional livelihoods that are still kept until today
is weaving. Originating in the pre-colonial times, the art of weaving of the
Cordillera tribal groups in the Philippine North is still existing despite the threat
of the more practical, mass production of cloth. The natives use back strap loom
to produce blankets and articles of clothing.
Piña cloth is also produced in looms throughout the province of Antique. It is
a delicate and exquisite hand-woven cloth that is made from the fibers obtained
from the leaves of pineapple plants. It is popularly used in Barong Tagalog, the
country’s traditional formal men’s wear. With the organic and airy textile being
used, the ‘barong’ is now becoming more popular around the world.
Abaca fiber derived from the abaca plant is widely grown in certain regions
in the country. It is woven mainly to make ‘sinimay’ fabric and abaca rope, as
well as specially papers like vacuum bags, currency, and tea bags. There are also
handcrafts like bags, carpets and clothing made of abaca.
Baskets are also made by Cordilleran’s as livelihood. They also use these as
storage for food when they need to go to mountain terraces to raise crops.
Certain types of baskets also serve for carrying grains, for hunting animals, and
for fishing in the streams. Bamboo baskets are used as fish traps; the shape and
size of baskets determine to the kind of fish to be caught.
Filipino potters make pots of different sizes, shapes, and designs, which are
usually geometric with stylized nature –themed motifs. Functional pieces are
made as the need would arise.
An example of this is the ‘palayok’, which is used for cooking. ‘Banga’ and
‘tapayan’ are used for storing liquids. There is also the clay-made stove or
‘kalan’. The ‘burnay’ pottery in Ilocos Sur is still a lively tradition that continues
up to the present.
Philippine sculpture is the most familiar art form among Filipinos. The most
popular woodcarvings are those of the anitos (nature gods), santos (saints), and
statues of Christ and the Blessed Mother.
Since the early 16th century, jewelry making in the country has been
practiced in the country. It is believed that the skills of the early Filipino jewelry-
makers are adopted from their Asian neighbors like the Chinese.
Jewelry-making is traditionally a home-based industry. With government
support, the Philippines has come to be known for its exquisite gold jewelry. The
more popular jewelry pieces are actually made of gold and silver. Rings,
earrings, bracelets, brooches, pendants, necklaces, tie pins, and cuff links (with
or without gemstones) of these precious metals are common. The Philippines is
also known for pearls and semi-precious stones (FREEMAN).