Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cordilleran Weaver Jason Domling Creates Giant "Pasiking" Backpack (9 Feet Tall)

Here's another good reason why you should give the Museo Kordilyera a visit. The newest addition to the museum's trio of inaugural exhibits is an enormous traditional backpack meticulously woven by Cordilleran artist/weaver Jason Domling. Measuring nine (9) feet tall, the giant traditional backpack is temporarily on display in front of the museum. Although the pack is commonly referred to in the Cordillera region as a "pasiking", it's also called "sangi" especially in the north-western towns of Mt. Province. The tribes from Ifugao also have their own version of the pack they call the "inabnutan".

Domling, the creator of the piece, is a weaver who hails from Sagada, Mt. Province. He is among the most well-known weavers in the region. His expertise in traditional Cordilleran weaving methods is evident in the works he has produced through the years. Aside from packs, Domling also weaves baskets, hats, and other functional contraptions. He has also collaborated with visual artists like Kidlat Tahimik (Eric de Guia).

A "pasiking" is woven using mostly natural materials like rattan, bamboo, and wooden reinforcements. The pack usually has just one compartment with a detachable covering on top. Others don't have the detachable cover. Modern versions of the pack sometimes have additional compartments.
Jason Domling standing beside his giant creation. Photo by the Museo Kordilyera -UP Baguio Ethnographic Museum.
The Museo Kordilyera is located within the University of the Philippines Baguio campus. It's open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission fees are as follows: 25 pesos for non-UP students and 50 pesos for non-UP adults. Senior citizens and PWDs can avail of a 20% discount. The museum is free to all UP students, faculty, admin, and alumni.