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Glossary | Kultura
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Abaca
Abaca
"Manila Hemp" is obtained from the leaf sheath of the Abaca Plant. Its fiber is strong and can be twisted into a cord to produce rope and footwear. Abaca can also be woven to create a gauzy fabric called Sinamay. The dried outer leaf sheaths, or Bakbak, are likewise, used for trays and baskets.
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Abaniko
Abaniko
A type of hand-held fan that is unique to the Philippines. It is typically made of thin wood, which serves as a frame. Fabric adorned with embroidery or hand painted designs produce wind. The "Abaniko" is a quintessential accessory to many traditional costumes in Filipino culture.
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Acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a durable hard wood found in northern parts of the Philippines. It is a favored material for furniture and decor with its thin grain, flame design, lustrous finish, and varied color tones. Acacia is typically used to create serving vessels, furniture or decorative accents.
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Bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a versatile tree-like grass with several species that are indigenous to the Philippines. Local types of bamboo grow tall and green, and are sturdy despite its small diameter. This wood type is an important material in various local crafts, ranging from the construction of houses to novelty items.
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Banig
Banig
A banig is a hand-woven mat popularly used for sleeping. Its texture does not absorb heat, thereby providing a respite from the humid tropical climate. Materials vary from buri (palm), pandan, sea grass or tikog reeds. These are dried, dyed, cut into strips and woven into mats with varying patterns that usually reflect the culture of the region.
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Barong
Barong
The Barong Tagalog is a traditional formal garment for men, evolving from the Spanish Colonial era. Literally translated as "a Tagalog dress," it is lightweight and worn untucked over an undershirt or "camisa de chino".
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Basi
Basi
Basi is a red wine that is produced by crushing sugarcane and extracting its juice. The juice is boiled in vats and then stored in earthen jars that are sealed with banana leaves and allowed to ferment. This drink is popular in Northern provinces, and is good for the heart when taken in moderation.
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Batik
Batik
Batik is a technique of wax-resistant dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap.
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Buntal
Buntal
Buntal is a fine white Philippine fiber obtained from the stalks of unopened leaves of the talipot palm. The stalks are dried and woven into hats or other home accents.
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Buri
Buri
Buri is obtained from the Silag or the Century Plant. This palm has large fan-shaped leaves with stout petioles, ranging from two to three meters in length. Buri leaves are stripped, dried, dyed, and woven to produce intricate and functional designs of bags, hats, mats, window dividers, and other home accents.
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Capiz
Capiz
Capiz is a flat, semi-transparent outer shell typically sourced from the South China Seas surrounding the Philippines. It is preferred for its iridescent sheen and pearlized texture. A versatile and elegant material, its uses include a variety of products, ranging from Christmas lanterns to fashion accessories.
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Coco Wood
Coco Wood
Coco Wood that is aged 60-80 years make exotic decorative and novelty items. Using ethnic hand-painting applications, the wood is crafted and enhanced with traditional designs from the arts of different southern Filipino tribes such as the T'boli, Mandaya, Bagobo, and Manobo
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Cordillera Textile
Cordillera Textile
Weaving among Cordillera tribes dates back to pre-colonial Philippines and embody the artistry that runs deep in local heritage. Inspired by nature, Cordillera weaves are typically dominated by red, black and brown stripes that represent the sky and the earth. Patterns are interlaced with yellow, green and white, depicting fertility and growth.
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Hablon
Hablon
Hablon ("to weave") is a Hiligaynon art and refers to hand woven textile made of locally grown jusi, pina, silk threads, cotton or rayon.
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Jade de Mindoro
Jade de Mindoro
Locally known as Green Stone, Mindoro Jade is said to bring happiness to the home. This mineral is also believed to stimulate growth and channel positive energy.
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Kamagong
Kamagong
Kamagong wood comes from the Mabolo tree, which is indigenous to the Philippines. It belongs to the ebony family, and is extremely dense and durable. Kamagong is preferred by many for its resilience, as well as its beautiful and dramatic grain, which is grayish and dark with brown streaks.
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Kimona
Kimona
The Kimona is a translucent blouse with extended sleeves worn over an inner garment. It is an integral part of traditional women's clothing in the Philippines. Typical materials used for kimonas are piña cloth, silk, cocoon, and organza. These are usually embroidered or even adorned with beads and appliqués.
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Mahogany
Mahogany
Philippine Mahogany, or Lauan, differs slightly depending on its region of origin. Wood types originating from Luzon are generally harder and darker while Mindanao-sourced wood is lighter in color. Mahogany ranges from yellowish to reddish-brown, and is a typical choice for furniture.
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Mango Wood
Mango Wood
Mango wood is dense and hard. It is typically found in South East Asia and is a sustainable wood material. Its color ranges from light to dark and reddish brown, with an uneven grain. Mango wood is a durable material and is preferred in manufacturing vases, bowls and furniture.
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Mangyan Crafts
Mangyan Crafts
The Mangyans are an indigenous group, the first inhabitants of Mindoro, located southwest of Luzon. Their distinct culture and heritage are kept alive through the tribe's skilled craftsmanship. From turning nito vines into baskets, jars and placemats to weaving textiles and making beaded accessories, Mangyan artistry continues to thrive to this day.
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Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl
The smooth, iridescent nacre found in the inner layer of mollusk shells. Mother of Pearl is abundant in the Philippines where beaches abound, and is typically sourced from Cebu and other coastal areas in the Visayas region.
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Nito
Nito
Nito is a glossy, rod-like tropical vine that is lightweight & pliable. Nito is perfect for shaping baskets, trays, placemats and other types of home decor. Intricately woven by artisans from Aklan, nito products are steadily gaining recognition as classic & functional home accessories.
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Palawan Woodcraft
Palawan Woodcraft
Palawan is home to the Tagbanua who live in mountains and coastal villages. They are among the oldest ethnic groups in the Philippines. The wood carvings are blackened with soot and details are then etched, exposing the original white grain of the wood. Typical motifs include masks, boats, ritual bowls and animals like the mammanuk (rooster) and the kararaga (a native bird).
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Pandan
Pandan
Pandan comes from the Screwpine Tree and is abundant in the Philippines. The leaves are split into strips, dried and bleached to achieve a natural cream color. Dried pandan strips are hand-woven into sheets and fashioned into functional and artistically designed products like bags, baskets and novelty items.
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Pearls
Pearls
Freshwater Pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder more temperate areas; South Sea Pearls are saltwater pearls from the Pinctada maxima oyster in both silver and gold-lipped form. Colors can range from white to gold, and sizes range from 10-20 mm.
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Piña
Piña
Piña is an indigenous fabric from the Philippines, primarily the province of Aklan. Fiber is extracted from pineapple leaves and spun into yarn which is then handwoven into a transparent, delicate fabric. It is often mixed with silk for durability and sheen.
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Raffia
Raffia
Raffia is sourced from the Bicol and Visayan provinces. The fibrous leaves of the Raffia Palm is stripped to form long, thin strands that are dyed and woven into hats and decorative mats. This material is preferred by crafts makers for its pliable yet durable qualities. It is also used as packaging material.
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Romblon Marble
Romblon Marble
Romblon is the marble capital of the Philippines. Its mountains boast of several varieties, white carrara and golden yellow marble, as well as black and green onyx. Stonework by the local artisans are all sculpted by hand.
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Sabutan
Sabutan
Sabutan is a coarse fiber from a species of the Pandanus plant. Harvested Sabutan leaves are dried for at least a week, and then bleached, dyed and colored. The fiber from Sabutan leaves is strong and pliable, and is used in making hats, cushions and bags.
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Semi Precious Stones
Semi Precious Stones
Red Coral, possesses a durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton. These grow on a rocky sea bottom with low sedimentation; Turqouise, a prized gem and ornamental stone, owing to its unique hue; Onyx formed from bands of chalcedony in alternating colors. Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and/or white.
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Sinamay
Sinamay
Sinamay is a stiff, coarse textile that is woven from abaca. The fibers are stripped and then finely-woven into a fabric and soaked in a stiffening agent. Sinamay is typically used for a variety of home and fashion items.
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Snakeskin
Snakeskin
Snakeskin is a type of leather that is made from the hide of a dead snake. Snakeskin is used to make clothing such as vests, belts, boots or shoes or fashion accessories such as handbags and is used to cover the sound board of some string musical instruments, such as the banhu, sanxian or the sanshin.
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Suksok
Suksok
Suksok ("to insert") is a special treatment for making traditional Filipino fabrics out of cotton or pina. Through this process, the pattern is hand-woven into the main fabric to produce an intricate and delicate texture.
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Tikog
Tikog
Tikog is a slender sedge with tufted stems that are smooth and shiny in appearance. Tikog stems are gathered and bleached under the sun for several days to enhance its color and texture. Once dried, these are dyed and woven into intricately-designed hats, mats, pillowcases, and other home accessories.
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Tinalak
Tinalak
The Tinalak is a deep brown abaca cloth that is processed with natural vegetable dyes to form intricate patterns. A distinctive Filipino material, it is handloom-woven and artistically designed by indigenous tribes in Mindanao. The Tinalak is traditionally used in such T’Boli rituals as matrimony and childbirth