Man's ceremonial loincloth
cotton, glass beads, dyes
231.0 (h) x 13.0 (w) cm
Gift of the President of the Philippines HE Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 2007
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The loincloth has a long history in Southeast Asia. Images of men wearing the long narrow textiles appear on prehistoric bronzes and the garment continues to be worn in isolated communities to the present day. The Gaddang people weave a narrow striped cloth, often decorated with imported beads, for ceremonial clothing and accessories such as bags, belts and loincloths. Archaeological finds of gold-glass beads, thought to be of Chinese origin, indicate that exotic beads were used in Luzon from at least the 15th century.