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Category Archive: Arts and Craft

Oct
04
2012

Kabu: The Melancholic Story of Tugaya’s King of Brass

Kabu - Tugaya’s King of Brass

The town of Tugaya in Lanao Del Sur province is known as the center of Maranao craftsmanship. Majority of the people in the town are engaged in arts and craft industry, particularly creating intricate wood carvings such as baul and debakan drums that are sold in the markets of Davao, Manila, and overseas. However, aside from wood, Tugaynons have another specialty—they are also metal benders—creating intricate works of art with the use of fire and earth—brass works! Kabu, kanyon, and kris are the things Tugaynons are known for.

Kabu on display at home

The community of Bubong is known for brass-making, with the large intricate brass jars called kabu and canons as its main products. The kabu is well known all throughout Mindanao as a decoration of royalty. These large brass jars varies size—from size of plant pots to human sized behemoths. Since these are made entirely of metal, it is considered as a collector’s luxury item. One kabu may reach as expensive as several thousand pesos or even a million—exported to big cities such as Manila and Davao, and even overseas. All of these were craftily made in this sleepy town beside the lake.

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