Thursday, August 11, 2011

B'laan Beadwork Taught at VOH Christian School

Kinsay Tagnaan displays a traditional B'laan blouse intricately decorated 
with beads.  According to Sarah Sobrino, Malungon community
center coordinator of the Center for Community 
Transformation,  the bead work 
on  albongs like this is so durable that not a single bead falls off even
when the blouse is handed down to the next generation. 
Sarah is herself a member of the B'laan tribe.

Will B'laan beadwork ever become a vanishing art? No, not as long as women like Flanék (sister in B'laan) Kinsay Tagnaan faithfully teach younger female members of the tribe this skill. 

The B'laan, indigenous people of Mindanao, are known for the intricate beadwork worn by their womenfolk.  Flanék Kinsay helps preserve B'laan tradition by teaching beadwork to children and staff at the Visions of Hope Christian School in Malungon, Saranggani Province. The pupils worked on bead projects in the previous school year and beadwork will be part of the curriculum in school year 2012-2013.  

The Visions of Hope Christian School is run by the Center for Community Transformation, a non-government organization. 
Sarah Sobrino (right) gets one-on-one lessons on B'laan
beadwork from
Flanék Kinsay Tagnaan.
Allan Sobrino, property custodian at the Malungon
Retreat and Resource Center and pastor of the Kerith Ravine
Community Church, tries his hand at some beadwork.

Tiny white beads adorn the neckline of an albong, a blouse
worn by B'laan women. 
Flanék Kinsay doing beadwork on the sleeve of an albong.

Ulél – B'laan earrings
A swăt, B'laan headdress of beads attached
to a wooden comb.
B'laan children wearing albongs decorated with bead designs
they themselves helped sew on.