Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1902 Moro datu

Subject: datu chief
Culture: Tausug, Magindanao Moro
Setting: Spanish, American Wars, Mindanao-Sulu 1851-1913
Object: costume

Pis Siyabet

* Pastor-Roces 1991 p124
"[T]he Tawsug pis siyabit is an exact copy, though miniaturized and executed in the tapestry techinque, of a type of large-scale Gujerati double ikat ....  Both the Gujerati original and the Tawsug equivalent exhibited extraordinarily dense, square motif fields, populated by angular hooks, crosses, swastikas, lozenges, and a couple complex polychromatic structure. Both were traditionally manufactured in silk. ...
"The pis format, a square featuring an internal framing structure, has been adopted by practically all Mindanao cultures as a standard headcloth format.  Generically called tubao, these square pieces mirrored such obscure cloths as telia rumal from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh among many others.  The obvious difference, of course, is that tubao tend to be framed compositions of plain or banded color fields, usually red, while the Indian versions were varied by ikat-dyeing (sometimes double ikat) and supplementary weft weaing in the inner square or in the frame, or both."

* Hamilton 1998 p75 (Roy W. Hamilton, "From the rainbow's varied hue: Textile style regions of Mindanao and Sulu" p14-101)
"Kambut [men's waist sashes] and pis [pis siyabet, men's shoulder or headcloths] are made using the tapestry technique, which is the most noteworthy feature of Tausug weaving.  Like the use of silk thread, the adoption of tapestry weaving has been credited to the influence of the Chinese textile trade.  The Tausug patterns are rigidly geometric but are brought to life by the play of color in these rainbow-hued accessories.  It has often been reported that the patterns appearing on the pis are derived from Indian mandala.  This gives the pis a spiritual dimension, as contemplation of the pattern constituted a spiritual exercise.  The pis can be arranged in a number of styles."  [references omitted]

* Pastor-Roces 1991 p166
"The multi-purpose pis siyabit may be worn on the shoulder, knotted around the hilt of the kris, or wrapped around the head."


* Hamilton ed. 1998 p144 (Ruurdje Laarhoven, "A Passion for plaids: A historical consideration of Maguindanao textiles" p132-153)
"Muslim groups -- the Maranao, Iranun, and Maguindanao -- refer to a tubular garment that wraps around the body as a malong.  The malong in Mindanao is the same in function as the sarung in Indonesia or the saran in Sri Lanka.  In Malaysia the term kain is usually employed instead.  Both malong and sarung are ultimately derived from the Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) saran."