Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Merritt, Helen

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art


Textile crafts--Philippines--Mindanao Island; Ethnology--Philippines; Aesthetics; Oriental


This is a study which examines the aesthetic significance of traditional textiles of the Bagobo, Mandaya and Bilaan, three animist groups from Mindanao, southern Philippines. The textile traditions of these peoples are defined on the basis of the following: 1) raw materials; 2) technique of manufacture of the indigenous fabrics; 3) clothing forms and decorations; and 4) the religious, sociopolitical and artistic significance of the textiles as they function in each culture. The thesis further includes a study of the iconography and formal qualities of the most dominant motifs which embellish the traditional textiles. These textiles are viewed both as aesthetic object and as cultural objects which link the past with the present. Both art historical and anthropological approaches to research are utilized as tools for understanding the traditional form. The primary data were obtained through examination of actual ' textiles and clothing forms from the Philippine collection of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and through an analysis of photographs from the photography file of the Field Ifuseum. These textiles, garments, and photographs were collected by Fay Cooper Cole in the second Robert Cummings Philippine Expedition to Mindanao in 1910. Published photographs and the Field Museum card catalogue which included notes made by the collector on each specimen were also studied. What is known about Philippine textiles is derived from general ethnographic accounts written by foreign traders, travelers, missionaries and anthropologists. This study consolidates available information, re-examines and interprets this information taking into consideration the concerns of art history, and formulates a comprehensive framework that provides a basic resource for future studies on Philippine textiles.


Bibliography: pages [213]-221.


xv, 221 pages




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