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Lamitan City ‘cradle’ of Yakan culture, art – Gov Salliman

Basilan Governor Jim Salliman has lauded Lamitan City for being the “cradle” of the Yakan Culture, art forms, and handicrafts since time immemorial.

He made the remarks during the opening of the 41st Lami-Lamihan Festival on Wednesday, June 26.

The governor noted that many luminaries in the field of music and traditional weaving hailed from Lamitan, such as the famous Apuh Ambalang Ausalin, and Bapah Uwang Ahaddas, both recipients of the National Living Treasure Award for textile weaving, and folk music respectively, in their lifetime.

Saliman said the city remains the top producer of Tennun products and has the highest number of weavers actively engaging in the trade.

“No wonder, the Furigay Clan, who first conceived the Lami-Lamihan Festival in 1983, put emphasis on the Yakan Culture as a tribute to its splendor and potentialities,” Salliman said.

He thanked the clan of Mayor Oric Furigay for it.

But he recalled that there was a time when they were challenged in ownership of some of their traditional handiworks like the famous Yakan Tennun.

“Either deliberately or unknowingly, other places lay claim to its origin as their own,” he said.

But the governor stressed that he, along with Vice Governor Yusop T. Alano and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, made a bold step to reclaim what rightfully belonged to the Yakan Tribe and the people of Basilan.

As an initial step to reclaiming ownership, Salliman said he renamed the annual festival of the Provincial Government as Tennun Pakaradjaan Basilan. This move separates the festival from all other Pakaradjaans in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and stamps the trademark of Yakan Tennun products as originating in Basilan.

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