Friday, February 25, 2011

Indigenous Art and The World of the Creator

When we take a look into the tribes of the remote areas in the Philippines, like the province of Ifugao for example, we will often see a culture as rich as our own, teeming with its own kind of traditional system, language and artistic preference.

When you see the work of these local craftsmen, you'll be astonished by the level of design they are capable of conjuring. During visits to the rice terraces in Banawe, Ifugao, I came across curiosities that caught my attention in the purely visual sense at first. Little sculptures carved out of local wood depicted the daily lives of these indigenous tribes. There were portraits of mothers carrying their babies while harvesting grain, hunters with their long spears, and symbolical carvings that the locals referred to as anitos. It wasn't hard to recognize that the inspiration for all of these wonderful artworks was the very essence of the tribes communal life. Many of the pieces had symbolisms as well. There was a pregnant female figurine with the traditional rounded belly in some of the households i saw. Apparently their purpose was to instill a sense of good fertility upon the couple residing in the residence.

It's quite common for us to overlook art of this kind in the marketplace or common centers, however the true roots of indigenous art come from a beauty we can only understand by living the lives of those that created them.


anuja said...

Good piece...I think you are absolutely correct when you point out'When you see the work of these local craftsmen, you'll be astonished by the level of design they are capable of conjuring.'

I recently came across an exhibition for the same and trust me I was taken aback with the expertise and delicate skills that were behind those exquisite artworks. Also, I saw Saffronart, Mumbai-based auction house is planning an exclusive auction on Indian folk and tribal art & objects in the coming August. Check it out here-

Frenie Agbayani said...

I love this contemporary art sculpture. Those designs are a unique idea as well. Awesome!

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