Monday, June 28, 2010

Blaans in the Hinterlands of Davao del Sur

Photo credits: Ms. Marideth Franca-Enrique

The b'laans are one of the indigenous peoples of Southern Mindanao in the Philippines. B'laan is an indigenous group that is concentrated in Davao del Sur and South Cotabato. Their name could have derived from "bla" meaning "opponent" and the suffix "an" meaning "people". Other terms used to refer to this group are Blaan, Bira-an, Baraan, Vilanes, and Bilanes. The Blaan, are neighbors of the T'boli. They practice indigenous rituals while adapting to the way of life of modern Filipinos.

They are famous for their brassworks, beadwork and t'nalak weave. The people of these tribes wear colorful embroidered native costumes and beadwork accessories. The women of these tribes, particularly, wear heavy brass belts with brass 'tassels' ending in tiny brass bells that herald their approach even when they are a long way off.

In the hinterlands and mountainous parts of Kiblwan, a town in Davao del Sur, you can find the B'laan settlers in the area. Take a look at these photos:

typical village in the hinterlands

performing a tribal ritual

B'laans in their colorful costumes

doing their tribal ritual

tribal assembly

typical B'laan house design

beautiful designs

B'laan women

B'laan woman in her tribal costume

B'laan man with his musical instrument

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