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Category Archive: Indigenous Peoples and Cultures


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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Sideline: Ang Pagpanaug sa Kapatagan

Indigenous Peoples Roam the Streets of Davao City for Living by also posing for souvenir shots

It wasn’t my first time seeing our indigenous peoples head to the city to earn for a living. Just like a probinsyano attracted to the prospects of greener pastures of the big city, some IPs “go down” and seek better opportunities, to either prosper or to survive. The three photos I’d be showing is just one example of such. Captured during Kadayawan Festival in Davao City last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice this group of lumad girls wearing their bright indigenous clothing and posed for a souvenir shot together with a foreigner and several local tourists. My guess is that the group earns a living by posing for tourists or entertain using their indigenous music or probably selling their bracelets that they made. I still yet to know what particular indigenous group is it.

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