Tinalak of T’boli, a Cultural Heritage

Fusing the ancient craft of natural dyeing with modern, efficient and cost-effective natural dye application technologies, the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI – DOST) helped enhance the T’bolis cultural heritage, the tinalak.

The revival of their ancient craft of natural dyeing is now through anchored on a more scientific and modernized process.

The PTRI training on natural dye extraction and application provided the T’boli weavers and dyers the knowledge and skill to further improve their craft. As a result, the weavers were able to further experiment, discover and innovate their ancient craft of weaving tinalak.

“Through these technology interventions, we can see how science and technology can boost and nurture the rich cultural traditions of our indigenous people as well as contribute to the improvement of their lives and yet, still remain true to their traditions,” said PTRI director Carlos C. Tomboc.

Tomboc also said that the application of science to their process enables their crafts to stand the test of time and carry on forever.

The tinalak is a sacred fabric woven from the tensile abaca fibers and is unique to the T’boli tribe of Southern Mindanao. It is a totem reflecting the ingenuity and exquisite craftsmanship of the T’boli women and an insignia of their individuality outpoured in an intricately patterned fabric exuding the yearnings of their souls, their struggles and, more importantly, their dreams as revealed to them by the spirits.

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