163 Abaca tapestry cloth, 66 x 163 cm, with ikat designs, from the Mandaya tribe in Mindanao. This is called a Dagmay cloth. It is an old textile. The warp yarns are worn and broken in a few places but the weft yarns are still intact there and hold it together. The ikat designs include several anthropomorphic figures, some crocodile/human figures in the middle, and several types of spirit faces. The longer you study it, the more you will discover. The human figures with legs spread wide symbolize a woman giving birth, and the newborn baby is the small circle in between her legs. This is often called an Abaca "birthing cloth" by those who know this association. Such a cloth is used as part of an exchange at marriage, and when a woman gives birth, it is considered conducive to safe delivery to use it as a covering. The wavy lines and curlicues in the motifs in the row above these women also represent humans, in much more abstract form. In addition they can be viewed as spirit faces. The ikat dying and then weaving of such a cloth takes about three months of part-time work. See The People and Art of the Philippines, by Casal et al, 1981, p.134-137.