Last time, I posted an article about the myth and meaning of the Mangyans of Mindoro, made by the Mangyan Heritage Center which I found in the learning commons of La Salle. But you know what, it is not just the myth and meaning that I found. I also discovered the products that Mangyans of Mindoro use in their daily lives and culture. According to the MHC, for the Mangyans, craft has always been a product of their way of life and an extension of their customs and traditions. Today, this distinct expression of artistry and skill not only keeps the Mangyan culture and heritage alive, but also helps raise supplementary income for their education and health care.
For today, let me reveal their products. I am lucky that I got a picture with those.
Alangan Personal Adornments
These adornments were only worn by unmarried Alangan men and women. Some of them had secret pouches to carry amulets and talismans to make oneself attractive to suitors. These adornments consist of Tabed, a around woven rattan container; Surod, a comb; Kaltan, a pouch necklace; Bayakus, a belt pouch; Bugway, a necklace and Sarikaw, a head band.
Iraya Mangyan Baskets
These baskets were made of nito. This design is typical and found in jars, trays, plates and cups of different sizes. This handicraft survives and still sold in the lowlands.
Alangan Recreational Artifacts
This includes Sukluban, a rattan rectangular bag, which is a container for betel chew and money and worn by men as necklace; Kwako, a pipe carved from stone or at times deer antlers; Lisong, a mortar and pestle made of hardwood and used to pound areca nuts and corn; Banggan, a top which is a hardwood and split rattan played by boys.
Mangyan Personal Containers
Mangyans have Tabayay, which is an Alangan Gourd water container made by drying Tabayay fruit. It is forerunner of the modern water cooler and is used for transporting and storing drinking water. They also have Bay-ong Sinuluyan, which is a Hanunuo Mangyan burl bag made of buri and nito with pakudos design. It is a container for lime, comb, money and other important things.
Fire Making Kit
This fire making kit, also called Binangkasan, is usually made of bamboo and rattan with strap decorated with woven rattan. A triangular metal piece is struck against a flinstone inside the small striped container. The dry fiber or Kaong catches the sparks and a fire is lit. This practice still continues in the remote areas.
Nga-nga is a betel nut chewing containers for the leaves, lime powder and nuts. This are bamboo containers decorated with Ambahans. Tiny characters on bamboo can no longer be replicated.
Ambahan Writing on Bamboo
This Buhid Mangyan carved in the bamboo is related to Hanunuo Mangyan Script. This are poems about a distressed farmer losing his fields to a lowlander.
A Weekly Appointment Calendar
This Mangyan product has seven strings which represents the days of the week. They pull a string to remind them what’s the day.