Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Tausug Ancient Arts and Crafts Face Extinction

The Tausug people is a wonderful race. It pioneers many interesting innovations in their lifetime. Though most of the arts and crafts are now fast disappearing in the modern world, there are still vestiges of hope that some will be resurrected and preserved.

The Tausug people are the Masters of the Sea. Thus, they have perfected the craft of boat-making. One place in Indanan, near Buwansa, has been called "Kahadjian" because of the story of an ancient family who went to Mecca using the boat they had built. The whole family returned home a whole year later.

The story above also confirms that the Tausug people are seafarers and great navigators, guided only by stars.

Then, we had also grinders for both Rice and Sugar cane, distinct from each other. Thus, we had commodities before of crude sugar and "Tapung". The grinders that we had before were maybe crude, but they were the best that we had. Because of them, we were able to supply the world market for "Tirigu" and Sukal.

As for the sugar cane plantations, we should have hectares of them before Martial Law years. My grandmother Karima helped grandfather Tantong by selling unlimited supplies of sugar cane tubers daily on the market.

Sugar cane plantations were plenty in Binuwang, Talipao, Sulu.

As well as rice!

But the martial law years limited the activities of our farmers. Our native mills were put into disuse. Now, we see a stone part of them being used only for doing laundry.

One of the ancient crafts that is still existing today is the Hablun-making. The device in making Hablun is a little bit complicated for the uninitiated. The Tausug has this "Tukud-tukud" for the Hablun industry:

"Luwrun, tukarun, pag-uwi sumbayi'un."

There are also other groups who still specializes in boat-making, though the industry does not attain the modern industry standards, especially on mass productions.

And then, there are also few smiths who are still adept in ancient weapon-making techniques.

I am hoping that the Government will support the Tausug Ancient livelihood, arts and crafts. Our culture and heritage must live on.

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