Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yakan Weaving Village in Zamboanga City

Another good place to visit in Zamboanga City is the Yakan Weaving Village in Calarian, northwest of downtown. From the city's public market, we rode an Upper Calarian-bound jeepney in Volderosa St., which fills up passengers before leaving. Jeepney fare is either P10 or P12, for about 15-minute ride. Ask the driver first if he's passing Gate 2, because the other Upper Calarian route that enters Gate 1 would not pass the weaving village.

The place is easy to miss, as it only has a small tarpaulin signage in an ordinary-looking neighborhood. In fact, the jeepney driver forgot to drop us to the place. I just told the driver to stop when I noticed the small signage of the weaving village, since we were seated beside the driver at the front seat.

A lady shopkeeper gave us a brief tour on the small compound where the cloths are manually weaved by hands. Depending on the color pattern they want to make, it starts with stretching about 15 threads on 20ft. long fence, like on the photo below.

Then, those stretched threads are tied to a post, before the weaver starts to use their unique skills with their weaving tools. A meter long cloth pattern takes about 4 days to be woven. Its a back (and butt)-breaking task, with the long hours spent on weaving the cloth, plus mistakes are hard to rectify. That is why the weaver puts a back support, if you will look closely at the next photo.

After weaving, they cut the odd thread ends, for the finishing touches. Those cloths would be sewn into table cloths, shawl, bags, place mats, coasters, etc. like those products displayed on top photo. A coin purse starts at Php 10/pc if bought by dozen, great for pasalubong.

The Yakan people are one of the tribes in Mindanao, with a land-based industry like farming and weaving, much like the T'Bolis in South Cotabato. But years of conflict between the military and muslim separatists drove them away from their homeland, with some choosing to relocate in Zamboanga. I hope that the government provide support to Yakan weavers, to save their weakening industry and culture.

From Yakan village, we just rode a tricycle back to Barter Center in the downtown for Php 80 fare.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

No comments:

Post a Comment