Higaonons train youth on mat weaving

Some 20 Higaonons, mostly out of school youth, are attending 36-day training on mat weaving here as part of their “school for living traditions.”

Sol Dinlayan, Bukidnon State University Ethno-cultural Museum in-charge, said the participants are joining the training to learn a livelihood skill and also as a way to preserve and revitalize the craft as part of the tribe’s culture. She said they are trying to teach the craft to the younger generations as the tribe’s weavers are growing old.

Most of the participants are from Poblacion barangays 10, 11, and Casisang. The training was initiated by barangay leaders.

Dinlayan said cultural master Rosita Into, a 79-year old Higaonon weaver is the mentor in the three-phase training, which started last week.

She said there is value added when the tribal women weave – they have more time to share about their culture and life to younger generations.

“During mat weaving we have ample time to socialize. Mostly it is a time for elders to share to the youth about maayong pamatasan (good manners),” she said.

Dinlayan, however, said that while there is no problem with the market for the mats the industry is threatened by the problem of scarce materials.

She cited the depleting plant source called sudsod, a type of water grass used as straw for the mats, and the lack of a showroom for their products.

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