SAYAW: Filipino Dances
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Luzon Region


	The Northern Luzon provinces produced distinctive types 
of weave, or abel Ilokano. Some utilized indigo, which was one 
of the major sources of wealth of the Ilocos provinces. Ilocano 
weavers also manufactured lines for specific markets in the 
Cordilleras, bartering these for mountain products, like gold. 
Weavers in Abra also produced status blankets that were brought 
out and displayed during the village rituals. A distinctly Filipino 
fabric had been woven from abaca(Musa textiles), an indigenous 
plant that belongs to the plantain family, since before Spanish 
times. (Until today, non-Westernized peoples in the interior of 
southeastern Mindanao continue to weave abaca in the indigenous 
tradition, using ikat technique.) Abaca began to be cultivated 
extensively in the 19th century as a source of Manila hemp, which 
was used to make the strongest ropes. Sinamay, the finest abaca 
fabric, was made of pure abaca, or mixed with cotton, piņa, or 
silk. Abaca mixed with cotton was called sinulit; the coarser weave
was called guinaras. The finest sinamay came from Camarines and 
Albay. Abaca fabric was also woven in Batangas and in the islands 
of Panay, Bohol and Samar. 

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