In the stunning landscapes of Mountain Province, something truly remarkable is taking place. While we often think of weavers crafting beautiful fabrics for the living, have you ever heard of weavers who create garments for the departed? This heartwarming tradition, deeply rooted in the Igorot culture, is nothing short of astonishing.
A Tradition of Respect
The people of Mountain Province hold a profound reverence for their ancestors. Here, traditions are deeply cherished and lovingly passed down through generations. One such tradition involves weaving special clothes, destined to rest with those who have passed on, a gesture of the utmost respect.
At the heart of this unique practice is the Guinzadan Weaver's Organization. Established in 2007, this group is located in the breathtaking landscape of Bauko and has become a central hub for crafting burial clothes that pay homage to the lives of the departed.
Preserving Tradition Through Weaving
The Guinzadan Weavers are not just artisans; they are the custodians of tradition. Their intricate weaving techniques and choice of materials create garments that are both a tribute and a work of art.
One of the most touching aspects of their craft is the creation of burial clothes. These are not ordinary garments; they are meticulously woven to symbolize respect and love for the departed. It's a practice deeply ingrained in the cultural heritage of the Igorot people.
From Barter to Personalized Creations
Traditionally, weavers exchanged their woven products through barter, receiving pigs and chickens for their creations. However, as times have evolved, so have the traditions. Today, clients from various provinces, including Ifugao, Kalinga, Benguet in the Cordilleras, and neighboring areas like Ilocos Sur, visit the Guinzadan Weavers' shop. This personal touch has added a unique layer to the weaving experience.
A Lifeline from the Government
In 2015, the Department of Trade and Industry breathed new life into the Guinzadan Weavers. They provided grants, modern equipment, and materials, ensuring the continuation of this heartwarming tradition. With the government's support, the organization has expanded its product range. Now, alongside burial clothes, they craft bags, traditional attire, and various accessories.
The impact of the Guinzadan Weavers goes beyond their craft. They've inspired the birth of other weaving organizations, further enriching the cultural landscape of the region. Today, the Guinzadan Weaver's Organization stands independently, nurturing the next generation of weavers.
Yet, challenges persist. The number of dedicated weavers is dwindling. In the face of this, Ana Eleanor Cadwising, the President of the Guinzadan Weavers, remains hopeful. Her commitment to weaving and preserving traditions burns brighter than ever.
How to Be a Part of This Tradition
If you'd like to support the Guinzadan Weavers and contribute to the preservation of this beautiful cultural tradition, you can reach out through their Facebook page, "Guinzadan Weaving," or contact them directly at 09123493917. Their address is Tabbacan, Guinzadan Sur, Bauko, Mountain Province. Your involvement ensures that the legacy of the Guinzadan Weavers lives on, weaving stories of love, respect, and tradition for generations to come.
Source: PIA Mountain Province