We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Bag

20th century

Artists

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Central Cordillera Luzon Philippines
    Cultural origin
    Ga'dang/ Kalinga
    Date
    20th century
    Media category
    Textile
    Materials used
    cotton, beads
    Dimensions
    24.5 x 12.0 cm
    Credit
    Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2005
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    205.2005
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ga'dang

    Works in the collection

    4

    Artist information
    Kalinga

    Works in the collection

    5

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  • About

    The mountainous region of Central Cordillera in northern Luzon is home to a large number of indigenous communities. Their fierce self-determination and geographic isolation provided relative protection from the cultural influences of Spanish colonisation. However, their art did not remain unchanged. Communities retained forms which were useful and meaningful, abandoned others and created new forms to meet new purposes – a tradition that has continued into 21st century.

    In Central Cordillera art is part of everyday life and is intrinsically linked to community and spiritual wellbeing. Many villages are built around a central stone platform where social and spiritual rites are performed. These include the worship of deities and ancestors and the consecration of sculptural figures.

    The carving of ancestral and religious figures, while today most prevalent among Ifugao men, was previously a practise shared by all communities of the Central Cordilleran mountain range. Textiles, on the other hand, are woven exclusively by women using backstrap looms. There has been a long and active trade in locally woven products, so many communities share techniques and an appreciation for similar motifs and colour schemes.

    This style of square bag with strap would have been worn over the shoulder or secured to a belt worn around the waist. The aesthetic of Ga’dang clothing and cloth accessories is very similar to that of their neighbours the Kalinga and displays the same tendency to decorate with imported beads, buttons, coins and shells. Although the red and indigo-coloured stripes of this cloth may have faded over time, the white beadwork and tassels are a striking reminder of the vibrancy of Central Cordillera textile traditions and their dynamic incorporation of foreign materials.

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Other works by Kalinga

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