The Higaonon are an indigenous cultural community that lives in the mountainous regions of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Agusan, and Lanao del Norte in North Central Mindanao. The name Higaonon literally means “people of the living mountains,” an apt description for a people whose way of life is centered on managing the forests that serve as their homes. They are a peace-loving people, a quality that is expressed in their traditional fabric, the hinabol.
“Hinabol” which means “woven” in Binukid, is an intrinsic part of Higaonon community life. Known as a “cloth of peace,” it is woven as an offering to the spirits, used to broker peace during tribal conflicts, and given as “blood money” within the Higaonon traditional justice system. It is also woven for special occasions such as weddings, where it is given as dowry and gifts to important visitors. For the Higaonon, weaving is meant to be a happy activity, and the hinabol weaver expresses her feelings on her loom in the same way that a painter would on canvass. This “woven happiness” is readily seen in the unique patterns and vibrant colors of the hinabol.