Saving an Indigenous Culture: The T'Boli
"There's no books. There's no... Nothing." - Nanay Myrna Pula, T'Boli
The T'Boli indigenous people practice oral tradition in maintaining & preserving their culture, using folktales and epic songs narrating the origin and history of its people, as Nanay Myra was explaining in this clip. So beautiful is the origin story of a goddess obtaining saliva from the moon to obtain the luxe threads used for their indigenous embroideries.
Raided and colonized by a handful of other ethnic groups throughout hundreds of years, the T'Boli culture - as with most cultures of indigenous peoples all over the world - is in jeopardy of being lost. There are very few and far between T'Boli culture bearers like Nanay Myrna Pula, a primary chief storyteller, or Yegas Kafun, a primary folk chanter of the tribe. But there is hope, as these cultural masters are trying to keep their traditions alive amidst a constantly changing & modernizing world.
As KINdom's Founder is BIPOC, supporting indigenous people is in the heart of our brand. In 2018, we visited the T’Boli indigenous community of Lake Sebu. Nanay Myrna was able to acquire land to build a School of Living Tradition, and we attended the blessing & house ritual. Two years later, the school - whose purpose is to teach the community their indigenous storytelling & chanting arts, to name a few - is still not built.
The T'Boli have many origin stories to tell & sing, and ancient practices pass on, but the young indigenous generation would rather work in the city to earn more money. Having the school not only creates a space for young indigenous members to learn, but for others on the outside who wish to visit and immerse & appreciate their culture, which helps create income for their community.
This Thanksgiving, we are reclaiming Black Friday and making it a Green Friday by giving back to the T'Boli indigenous community whose people & culture have been marginalized & compromised. Rather than offering a markdown or discounted sale, between November 25 and November 30, we will be donating a significant part of the proceeds to help build the school. Join us and non-profit organization CulturAid in helping preserve their precious traditions.
Indigenous peoples comprise of 6% of a global population of 7.8 billion people, and yet they take care of a whopping 80% of the Earth's biodiversity. Helping them helps all of us, and our only home.