Ifugao Woven Rattan Basket Labba
Ifugao Woven Rattan Basket Labba
Ifugao people, early to mid. 20th century, Cordillera, Northen Luzon, Philippines.
Gorgeous and aged woven labba-style rattan basket. Used for food or vegetable storing. The Ifugao are an ethnic group that lives in a mountainous region of north-central Luzon, Philippines. They are former headhunters who are famous for their spectacular mountain-hugging rice terraces, which had once been hailed the "eight wonder of the world". Ifugao religion has an elaborate cosmology and more than a thousand important spirits (anitos). These spirits have precise locations in the Ifugao universe that carry with specific roles and duties. They cover almost of every aspect of life: war, peace, fishing, weaving, rain, disease etc. In addition to the spirits there are deities who are immortal and have the power to change form. Ifugaos believe in 6 worlds, Skyworld (Kabunyan, the place where deities are), Earthworld (Pugaw), Underworld (Dalom), the Eastern world (Lagud), the Western world (Daya), and the Spiritual world (Kadungayan). The Ifugaos include nature and ancestor worship, and participate in rituals (baki) presided over by a shaman (mumbaki), Priests (munagao and mumbini) guide the people in rites for good fortune. It is not unusual for a half dozen pigs, one buffalo (carabao) and scores of chickens to be sacrified during these ceremonies or rituals.
Baskets range in form and size, from portable lunch containers to woven jars. Winnowing trays, carrying baskets, and covered containers allowed people to harvest, transport, store, and serve food and crops. Basketry hats and rain capes protected against sun and rain. Traps and sieves helped in catching fish, shellfish, and insects. Assorted basketry bags and pouches contained personal items, such as tobacco. Hunters embarked on expeditions with woven backpacks filled with provisions to be consumed along the way, which they replaced with meat after a successful hunt. Basketry is gender specific among some groups, but, both Ifugao men and women engage in basket making. Baskets are made of bamboo, rattan, or a combination of the two. The most frequently utilized construction technique entails plaiting, although wickerwork, twining, or coiling are also employed.
Small-sized basket are in good condition. Age-related wear and signs of use. Intact. A small glass bead hidden in a cloth pouch at one corner of the basket. Lovely deep dark brown encrusted patina. Size approx. 22,0cm x 15,0cm x 24,0cm.
Provenance: Dutch private collection
References and further reading:
Ifugao, Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jan. 2022 (https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ifugao)
Vanishing Tribes, Alain Cheneviére, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, New York, 1987.
Ifugao, Facts and Details (https://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Philippines/sub5_6d/entry-3880.html)
Philippine Basketry of the Luzon Cordillera from the Fowler Museum UCLA.(https://www.sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/philippine-basketry-luzon-cordillera-fowler-museum-ucla)
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