Tag Archives: Mindanao mats

#62 Banig

Banig or handmade mats are made from the leaves of the screw pine palm (locally called in the Philippines as pandan or romblon).

The romblon banig are considered the most intricate and fine-grained matsĀ in the country if not in Southeast Asia and mat makers in the Visayas and Mindanao, particularly those from the Yakan and Samal ethnic tribes, are among the best banig weavers.

Depending on the skills and time of the mat maker, it takes around two to five weeks to make a single mat. The women of the Samal tribe in Southern Mindanao are especially reputed to produce very fine weaves that are often used in handcrafted handbags, wallets and envelopes, among other fashion accessory items.

Banig is also an ideal bamboo bed cover due to its cool and smooth surface. Designs range from the abstract, flower patterns to novel (such as the Philippine map!) or made-to-order motifs.

Long live Philippine mat weaving!

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