Celebrating the Artistry of Yakan Tennun Products at the National Arts & Craft Fair

By NCMF Commissioner/Spokesperson Yusoph Mando 
Published on October 8, 2023 

In a grand showcase of Filipino craftsmanship, the National Arts & Craft Fair on October 8, 2023, at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, featured two remarkable Yakan ladies, Miss Nurhana H. Salahuddin and Miss Nurhaifa S. Muallamin, both hailing from Basilan Province. Their presentation of Yakan Tennun products was a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess of the Yakan people.

The National Arts & Craft Fair, organized by the DTI Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion and several partner agencies, has been a platform for celebrating the diversity and creativity of Filipino artisans. This year’s event, which ran from October 4 to October 8, 2023, brought together talent from all over the Philippines, and the Yakan ladies were a standout attraction.

What Are Yakan Tennun Products?

Yakan Tennun products are a splendid representation of the Yakan culture. The Yakan people are an indigenous group primarily found in Basilan, an island province in the southern Philippines. Their artistry in weaving is deeply ingrained in their heritage and has been passed down through generations.

Tennun, which means “woven” in Yakan, refers to the intricate and vibrant handwoven textiles produced by these skilled artisans. These fabrics are characterized by their bold and intricate geometric patterns, often using a palette of vibrant colors. Yakan Tennun products include a wide range of items, such as malongs (traditional tubular skirts), scarves, table runners, and more. These pieces not only showcase the Yakan people’s craftsmanship but also provide a glimpse into their cultural identity.

The process of creating Yakan Tennun products is meticulous and labor-intensive. Yakan weavers employ traditional backstrap looms to craft these textiles. The patterns are often inspired by elements from their natural surroundings and cultural traditions, resulting in unique and captivating designs.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Yakan Tennun products hold great cultural significance. They are worn during important ceremonies and celebrations, making them an integral part of Yakan traditions. Through the art of weaving, the Yakan people preserve their cultural heritage and transmit their stories and traditions to future generations.

The Young Duo’s Remarkable Presentation

Miss Nurhana H. Salahuddin and Miss Nurhaifa S. Muallamin, the two Yakan ladies who presented their Tennun products at the National Arts & Craft Fair, demonstrated their commitment to preserving and promoting their cultural heritage. Their participation in this event is not only a showcase of their craftsmanship but also an assertion of the importance of recognizing and supporting indigenous artistry.

Their presentation received applause and appreciation from the event attendees, and it’s a testament to the enduring beauty and cultural richness of Yakan Tennun products. This exposure not only provides a platform for these artisans but also contributes to the broader awareness and recognition of indigenous art forms in the Philippines.

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