Bontac Suklang. Woven Hat. Luzon. Philippines. Circa 1930.

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  • $425

Bontac Culture
N. Luzon
Circa 1930

6.5” x 5.5” x 2.5”

Bachelors hat or bun cover.
Woven nito vine and bamboo basketwork with four turns of red-dyed rattan and boar tusks at each side.

A fine circular men's hat called the suklang or falaka, which was common in Bontoc. These small, round hats were worn not on the top, but at the back of the head. To hold them in place, a fine cord went under the front of men's hair fringe (until the early twentieth century, Bontok men wore their hair long with a fringe). Their primary function was to serve as a pocket or bag to hold matches or flint, tobacco, pipes, betel nut, leaves, lime, etc. They also held the men's long hair. "It is believed the suk'-lang may have developed as a pocket from the narrow head-band, since the man's pipe is invariably put away in the suk'-lang, as also are his tobacco and matches, if he has them" (Jenks 1904: 702). Its secondary function is to designate a man's marital status. Bachelors wore a more decorative version; the married men wore a simple, plain, undecorated beehive shaped basket.

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