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Tennun: The Yakan Weaving Tradition

Yakan Weavers of Basilan

Tennun: Showcasing Yakan Artistry Through Traditional Weaving

Tennun is a traditional handweaving technique of the Yakan tribe in Basilan, Philippines. The term “tennun” refers to the handwoven fabric produced by the skilled weavers of the community. The Yakan people, known for their vibrant culture, have been practicing this craft for generations, passing down their knowledge and skills from one generation to the next.

Yakan Weavers of Basilan

The art of Tennun involves weaving threads on a traditional loom to create intricate patterns and designs. The weavers use a variety of materials, including cotton, abaca, and silk, to produce the fabric. The resulting textiles are known for their bright colors, bold patterns, and high quality. The Yakan people use Tennun fabric for various purposes, including clothing, household items, and ceremonial attire.

Today, Tennun is not only a source of pride for the Yakan people but also an important part of their livelihood. The weavers sell their handwoven products to both local and international markets, generating income for their families and communities. The demand for Tennun products has also led to the establishment of weaving centers and cooperatives, providing employment opportunities for more weavers and helping to preserve the tradition for future generations.

The Yakan Tribe

The Yakan Tribe is one of the major indigenous Filipino ethnolinguistic groups in the Sulu Archipelago. They are known for their weaving tradition called Tennun, an artistic ability that is a source of pride for Yakan women. The Yakan people mainly reside in Basilan but are also found in Zamboanga City.

The Yakan Tribe has a rich history and culture deeply rooted in their identity. They have their own language, called Yakan, and practice Islam as their religion. The Yakan people have a strong sense of community and are known for their hospitality and kindness towards visitors.

Apuh Ambalang Ausalin of Lamitan City
Apuh Ambalang Ausalin of Lamitan City

In 2016, Ambalang Ausalin, a Tennun weaver from the Yakan Tribe, was recognized by the Philippine government as a National Living Treasure for its weaving artistry. This recognition was given to individuals or groups who possess outstanding knowledge and skills in traditional arts that are important to Philippine culture and heritage.

Despite facing challenges such as conflict and displacement, the Yakan people have managed to preserve their culture and traditions. They continue to pass on their…

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