Buying these Ifugao weave face masks help support weavers, rice farmers

HSBC Philippines
Ifugao weave face masks
Ifugao Nation face masks are water-repellent to help repel respiratory droplets through which the coronavirus is spread. Photo from Ifugao Nation.

Ifugao weave face masks are now available to ship anywhere in the Philippines to help you fight COVID-19 while supporting the indigenous tribe’s weavers and farmers.

Stylish face masks made from native Filipino textiles are quickly becoming popular during this pandemic. During this time period of “the new normal”, face masks are a necessity that is not going away anytime soon. This situation has caused a surge in the demand for face masks.

While there are many face mask brands, Filipino businessmen and other organizations have been reaching out for the public to support and buy locally made products to help the economy.

Ifugao Nation, an arts and crafts store in Kiangan, Ifugao, that supports the conservation of Ifugao Rice Terraces by assisting weavers and farmers, has a Facebook page where you can message them to order Ifugao masks. These masks are available in kiddie to large sizes and bulk orders are accepted.

You only need to send IFUGAO NATION a message on their page to make an order. They are accepting payments through Landbank, BDO, BPI, or Gcash.

With the purchase of these masks, one does not only have protection against the virus, support the local economy and local culture- they also support other important groups. For every sale of 50 pcs, 20pcs will be given to vulnerable sectors, seniors, indigent members, hospital patients, and frontliners.

Aside from Ifugao face masks, the public can also avail of Mindanao textile face masks and Abaca face masks developed in Misamis Oriental.

A PEEK INTO THE IFUGAO WEAVING CULTURE

Ifugao weave. Photo from Habi Textile Council.

Weaving has always been a part of the community in Kiangan. These weaves follow traditional techniques or ikat, where bundles of yarn are wrapped together and dyed multiple times to create the desired pattern.

Cotton from Habi The Philippines Textile Council (HABI) is usually where the raw fabric is sourced from. The cotton is twisted and compiled into strands to prevent undesirable tangling.

The unique pattern on these weaves is traditional, usually nature-inspired and beliefs-based. The Innulog pattern (symbolization of the python), for example, is based off a god who came down to Ifugao in the form of a snake to guard boundaries. Land is treasured among the Ifugaos, so a dividing line, in forest or rice fields, is considered sacred.

Occasionally, a ritual called the Mumbaki is performed. They believe that performing the ritual means blessing the cotton thread and the weaver. Weaving is not something one can create without focus because it is crucial to have the right thread spacing and correct count variations. There should not be any fine cracks, missing weft, or fabric defects.

The intricate patterns found on Ifugao weaves are not just there for design, they have centuries of history behind them and supporting their products helps Filipinos to be connected to their culture once more.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to support the Ifugao people and to Ifugao Nation for making these face masks available to the whole Philippines!

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Cuitlauzina Brianna Cerbito
Cuit is a senior high school student who has always turned to writing as her comfort and inspiration. Her goal in life is to leave the world a happier place than it was before, be it through sharing stories of the world's beauty or bringing light to topics that impact different areas of society.