I live in the Philippine land of promise, Mindanao, where most of the Muslims reside. The Philippines is most known for the dominance of the Christianity. However, there are also a lot of Muslims in the country. Every day, there are several reverts to Islam as well. Muslims in the Philippines are regarded to have high appreciation and love of art. There are several tribes in Mindanao who are Muslims. Some of which are Tausug (my tribe), Sama, Yakan, M’ranao, Maguindanao, and Iranon. Each tribe has its own culture. Each has its own perception of art and beauty.
Let me tell you more about my tribe, the Tausugs. If you have studied world history, you may have read about my tribe already. We are, so far, the most famous Muslim tribe of the Philippines that is known to the world. Aside from the fact that Sulu Sultanate has made its mark in history, the bravery of the Tausugs is beyond doubt.
As much as we love the art, Tausug clothing is remarkably beautiful as well. The native attire of a Tausug consists of Badjuh Lapih (upper) and Kuput (pants) for boys; while the top for girls are Batawi and Sablay for formal occasions, and Sambra and Supa-Supa for daily use. By the way, the pants for the girls are called Sawwal which, however, has a different design that would fit the top.
Batawi (also known as Badjuh Masigpit), for me, is the most beautiful of the aforementioned attires. It can be made out of velvet or silk. It is designed intricately to fit perfectly into anyone who wears it. The outfit is also jeweled with gold buttons just like how you see it in my photo. The Sawwal is wrapped around the waist and secured by a belt. Over the batawi and sawwal is called Kindang which is a piece of cloth with embroidered designs and hanged from the shoulder. It can also be wrapped around the waist.
Many years ago, these attires have not been worn so much by the people unlike in the 17th century. However, in the recent years, many of the personalities in the region have been seen using the said outfit to many occasions such as weddings and many special functions. One of the famous Tausug personalities seen wearing these outfits to functions are Jolo Representative Lady Ann Sahidulla and Tawi-Tawi vice Governor Ruby Sahali. And of course, the personality you see in the photos is none other than me. Just kidding!
There is beauty in every culture. And I am proud to share my culture's fashion to you. These types of clothing need to be noticed by fashion enthusiasts and designers as well. It is beautiful. It is modest. Truly, Mindanao specifically Sulu has a lot to offer to the world through the beauty of its culture.