Monday, May 26, 2008
THE KALINGA NATIVE COSTUME
One memory that stayed with me as I grew older, was the sight of topless women going about their daily chores. This is because I have spent my first childhood years in the city and I was culture shocked when my parents decided to bring me home to the barrio. I never saw anyone naked before and so I stared unashamedly at them .
In those times, in our barrio Taloctoc, women - after getting married - were allowed not to wear any blouse or upper clothing (Yes, they were topless! and no one placed any malice in it.) I would stare straight up at a mother's bare breast, bouncing back and forth as she went around with her daily chores; and no one noticed. (At present, this is not being practised anymore as people became educated about fashion from the city and neighboring towns. Should we consider this as progress?)
During special occasions and fiestas , the native costume for women is a "tapis" which is a colorful, woven, wrap around material that is usually knotted at the waist or tied at the waist. The upper body is covered with a blouse which is from a woven material too, which is cut very simply to accommodate the arms and the neck.
For the male, the g-string is used and nothing more. It is a piece of long rectangular woven material too, that is tied around the man's waist down to his lower body covering his private parts.
They were simple "clothes" for simple people with simple joys and wants. I was not able to capture the bright colors of the Kalinga costume, but hopefully , in the future I will.