Year of Grace, Day 194. Craftsmanship in Itbayat

In Itbayat, I loved seeing manual tools like those below still being treasured and used daily, and they took me back to the summer holidays of my childhood with my grandmother in Northern Luzon.

That lad sitting there witnessing the conversion of maize kernels into grits and later sieved to separate the flour, see below, will not have the problem urban children have of not knowing the natural origin of the common foods they eat. I remember a similar mill grinding glutinous rice grains into flour that my grandmother would later turn into delicious snacks. Rice sheaves from the farm would be unravelled and the husk pounded to release the grains on a mortar not too different from the ones below.

Mortar pestle riceI love these Itbayat diving fins. Although the straps are made of synthetic material — lengths from a split garden hose — I appreciate the ingenious repurposing of what would have been something an urban dweller would have consigned nonchalantly to the trash bin.

Diving finsAnd how about this clever coconut crab trap? You can see the crab — it’s still an immature one — approaching the trap.

What I appreciate most of all is the care taken with the fashioning of these items from locally available materials. As is evident in the robust craftsmanship of the axle on this cart.

These clothes pegs and the finely woven baskets they are in are so much more pleasing to look at and use than the plastic ones that urban dwellers have to be contented with. Please click on the photo below for a larger view.

Baskets w pegs

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One thought on “Year of Grace, Day 194. Craftsmanship in Itbayat

  1. In the sixties and before that, there was so much of a push from certain western nations to convert everything into plastic with an implicit message that *plastic was progress* and it destroyed a lot of culture in the world and created a lot of pollution as plastic is not biodegradable. Now these same countries are pointing fingers at Asian countries for plastic pollution. All I can do is shrug…

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