Weaving has been a way of life for Filipino women in tribal communities – just like this T’nalak woman from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. The women in their village weave abaca fiber together. They painstakingly work with their hands to create beautiful fabric. It takes months for one worker to finish one panel. Designs are inspired by nature surrounding them or influenced by their dreams. Each is unique like a fingerprint. Each has a story to tell.
Nowadays, they are not only weaving to make their own clothes. They have organized a cooperative of women to help preserve their identity and existence. They have ventured into entrepreneurship, making weaving a tourist attraction and a product for exporting. They are educating young girls and passing on the skill of weaving to the next generation. With more people appreciating hand-woven creations, indigenous weavers are here to stay.