The Maranao Settlement of Tugaya

Maranao Settlement TugayaThe municipality of Tugaya is unique in that this is an entire town that is virtually composed of craftsmen/artisans of various pursuits. Almost every household specializes in some form of art or craft that is part of traditional Maranao culture: backloom weaving, tapestry weaving and various kinds of textiles; brass-making/casting of various forms of vessels, woodcarving, silver/gold smiting, utilizing the Maranao art of decoration – the okir. From this community come the artisans that are called upon to decorate in the traditional manner the major forms of architecture, e.g. the Maranao torogan, the royal houses. The performance arts are also unique to the group where the penchant for the artistic spill out into even games and mundane articles of domestic use.

Textile weaving in Tugaya is still the Southeast Asian back-strap weaving, utilizing the okir decorative motifs which is indigenous to the area. The bronze/brass casting craft employs the cire perdue, waste- mold method of casting in the production of various types of vessels that follow traditional forms. Metal-forging uses again the Southeast Asian double-bellows forge, and employing traditional tools. Wood carving and mat weaving is also widespread, again with the distinctive okir decorative motifs. Almost the entire community is engaged in one or more of the forms or arts and craft.

The Marano Settlement of Tugaya is currently listed on the tentative lists of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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