Beads, other Products



From left, bead necklaces and more commerce inspired ID holders; T'nalak inspired handloomed cotton cloth; hand looming cotton cloth.

As can be seen on this website, the T'boli people are attracted to aesthetic beauty, a trait reflected in their traditional arts.  Related to this is the use by both T'boli men and women of bead-based jewelry, with jewelrymaking one of the traditional arts that are passed down from mothers to daughters.  Another traditional art form of the T'boli is the weaving of cotton cloth, using a process that while less well known than T'nalak weaving is still labour intensive, producing unique designs.  While many women wear the embroidered or shell shirts, their skirts are typically made from locally produced cotton cloth, often inspired by T'nalak.

As interest in T'nalak has grown, demand has increased for woven fabrics produced by the T'Boli for use in more commercially oriented products.  Key chains, purses and refrigerator magnets using materials woven by the T'boli can be found all over the Philippines, in souvenir shops, airport terminals and shopping malls.  At the same time, markets overseas have begun to call on the weavers of Lake Sebu - including fashion designers in New York and housewares producers in Japan (see for example the placemats in the image below far left, produced for a customer in Tokyo).  T'boli also are skilled wood carvers, focusing largely on the wildlife in their local area.

From left, T'boli woven abaca placemats; T'boli decorative wood carvings of the animals from their world; change purse made with T'boli fabric.

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Lake Sebu, South Cotabato Province, Philippines
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Cooperative of Women in Health and Development, Lake Sebu, Philippines
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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Last modified: 07/03/09