Basketry Techniques & Materials

Philippines baskets are constructed from bamboo and rattan and often a combination of the two.

Plaiting and twining produces a wide range of sizes and forms. Filipinos use baskets for transportation and farm work, food service and storage, fishing and trapping, clothing, and to carry personal items.



Household items are secured in baskets. Clothing and blankets are kept fresh and dry in lidded containers. A tampipi is a common basket type for storing clothing and blankets.


Food Gathering & Preparation


Winnowing trays are used to separate rice from its hull. Serving trays present rice and other foods for consumption. The baskets shown here are from the Bontoc Igorot people of the mountain area of Luzon Island.

Fish traps are placed in swift flowing streams and simpler baskets are used to carry crops from the field to home or market.


Personal Baskets


Bontoc men carry tobacco and other personal belongings in small bags shaped to fit beneath the arm (upper). Often compartmentalized, these bags include a "secret" compartment where valuables can be stored. Meals are transported in tightly-woven lunchboxes called topil. Jewelry and other personal items are stored in small, covered baskets of subtle design.




Unique to northern Luzon Island is the inabuntan or hunter's pack. It is constructed to be rain-resistant, providing a dry storage space for hunting gear and game.




Bamboo and rattan hats vary in shape, size, and design, but all function to protect the wearer from sun and rain.