Since Cordilleran art of weaving has fascinated local and foreign tourists who visit the region, particularly during the hot summer months, DOST (Department of Science and Technology) introduced to the local weaving industry replicated some long-forgotten designs.
The local woven clothes are an instant hit among tourists, who purchase them as souvenir items. The purchase provides supplementary earnings to local weavers of the Cordilleras.
Based on the report of the Department of Trade and Industry in the region, for centuries, the tribal people of the Cordilleras have hand-woven the rich tapestry of their culture and heritage into the tight-weave designs we see today. Kalinga weavers have developed their technology from the Ilocanos and Chinese traders, and for Ifugaos, weaving is as old as their terraces.
Each community group has its respective designs, colors and symbolism. One can simply recognize one group from another by the dresses they wear.
The introduction of technology and the diversification of job opportunities and professions help the industry but it also threatened the entire industry. These are observed in Kalinga and Benguet. Thus, it is a challenge for the elderly to arrest the diminishing knowledge among the youth about their ethnicity and cultural background.
The move of Mountain Province to use their woven products in the uniforms of government employees and their Lang-ay Festival, which heavily utilizes woven products, are just some examples by which they could educate the youth to preserve their culture.
The use of technology in any aspect of our lives is important; but, we should not forget the real essence of what we are doing even if technology already changed our way of doing it.