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T’Boli of South Cotabato

The T’boli people of South Cotabato, Mindanao is one of the most colorful and musical tribes of the Philippines. Complicated beadwork, woven fabrics, beautiful brass ornaments, and an array of musical instruments and dances are among the tribe’s distinctive attributes. Their culture is richly attuned to nature with songs and dances that mimic from the action of animals such as their monkey dance and woodpecker song.

A T’boli performance group of 10 shared their culture and heritage during the 2013 Day Program. The group is among the tribe’s finest performers and led by the famed Mafil Angkoy, master of the hegalong their traditional 2-stringed guitar. Joel M. Ganlal, Ellen C. Gumbing, Kempee  D.    Dalinog, Milagros  M. Samuel, Marina  M.  Sudaw, Faning  K. Gendaw, Diosa A. Sangid, Thelma B. Inzon, and Maria D. Todi make up the group.

They featured their traditional musical instruments such as the Klintang (eight suspended gongs), Hegalong (2-string guitar), S’loli (traditional flute), Kumbing (bamboo jaw harp), and Tenonggong (deerskin drum), as well as chanting and dream weaving.


The T’nalak is a T’boli sacred cloth made from abaca. It is the best known T’boli craft and is one of the tribe’s traditional textiles. The T’boli women who weave them are called dream weavers. Legend has it that the goddess Fu Dalu taught it to the women through dreams. In fact, the women learn this ethnic and sacred ritual based on tribal designs and cloth patterns that they experience and see in their dreams. No pattern is the same and they are made with centuries-old practices passed down from generation to generation.


T’boli items such as native handicrafts, textiles, instruments, brass, and beadwork will be sold at the Malasimbo Boutique.



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