The Maguindanao are a Muslim indigenous cultural community that has traditionally lived along the banks of the mighty Rio Grande de Mindanao (Pulangi) River in Central Mindanao. Known as the “people of the flood plains,” their name literally means “to be inundated,” their ancestral land being flooded many times a year by overflowing rivers.
For the Maguindanao, weaving is a spiritual exercise and one of the highest forms of artistic expression. The inaul (pronounced “inol”), the Maguindanao traditional fabric, depicts the community’s rich Muslim culture and heritage with its striking colors, intricate brocade patterns, and use of metallic threads. The dominant colors of the inaul symbolize virtues and qualities that are valued in Mindanao culture: red for bravery, orange and yellow for royalty, green for peace and tranquility, black for dignity, and white for purity and mourning.