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Ryan Fauli's Yagting Cultural Heritage Collections
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Banton Burial Cloth - The oldest warp ikat cloth in Southest Asia
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Material: Linen
Dimensions: Length - 81 cm Width - 21 cm
Date: 14th-15th centuries
Provenance: Banton Island, Romblon
Text by:    Maria Elena Paterno
Photo by:  Neal Oshima

Philippine National Museum

The process is simple, if a little tedious. First the threads are measured out and wound on a frame. They are wrapped in a pattern with a strip of vine or waxed string, then dyed. When the thread is dry, it is set up on a loom. The weaver begins to weave, and often only she sees the pattern as it begins to emerge on her loom like secrets of the thread.

Though warp ikat is sometimes thought to be as old as weaving itself, we do not know when it was first practiced in the Philippines. Any evidence we might have had was likely lost to the heat and humidity of the tropical climate. The Banton cloths are the earliest known warp ikat textile in Southeast Asia, found in a wooden coffin that also contained blue and white ceramics from the 14th to 15th centuries.


This article was taken from Philippine National Museum website. For more articles on other Philippine artifacts and treasures visit their site. Picture of the cloth was copied from their website for direct viewing purpose only.

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