The Cooperative works with the leading T'Boli dream weavers in the sale of their T'nalak weavings, include the National Artist Ms. Lang Dulay. As such, it can work with buyers to meet order requirements while also ensuring the benefits in their entirety go to the artist and the T'boli community. Weavings can be produced of varying lengths and widths. Prices vary depending on the level of experience of the artist, the complexity of the design, size and other factors. With the most sacred works of the master dream weavers, there are certain traditional practices that should be observed - the material should not be cut, as the design has been provided to the weaver in her dreams by her ancestors. It should not be used on the floor or walked on. It should be treated with respect.
Images, from left above. A T'Boli member of the Cooperative shows a recently completed weaving; a close-up view of a weaving by T'nalak master weaver Hilda; Hilda demonstrates her craft, working on a design passed to her by her mother, also a dream weaver.
Below from left.
Demonstrating the back loom technique on a recently begun piece; a poster of
National Artist Lang Dulay in her workshop in Lake Sebu; the tied off design,
using horse hair, prior to dyeing.
At the same time, a greater degree of flexibility is possible with some T'boli t'nalak. Some weavers are willing to use commercial dyes, providing brighter hues, for example. Such weavings are not the traditional T'boli product, but are still produced in the homes of weavers, by hand and using hand spun abaca fiber. Such designs would not be considered sacred to the T'boli and as such can be used in a variety of ways, although the T'boli would still hope for the use of discretion. Due to the material's properties and linkages to the lovely T'boli people, this less traditional t'nalak is being used in the production of a variety of housewares and other products - table runners, place mats, purses and clutches, for example. Some of these can be seen below.
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The T'nalak Dream Weavers website was produced with the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) with support from the Finnish Government.
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