THE Tam-Awan International Arts Festival (TIAF) that opened on May 6 hosted by the Chanum Foundation features the local art of bead making.
The women of Bokod who were facilitating the bead-making workshop were happy to share the art, which has become a family affair.
Gloria Beray, president of Bokod Central Women’s Association, said it is their second time to join the festival and this time, she is joined by her children who are also assisting the participants of the workshop.
Four years ago, Beray said they did not expect the seeds of a grass perennial in their environment in Bokod will start the arts and crafts suited for women.
She added the seeds they call katnay (Karao), katjan (Ibaloi), and katkatayan (Kankana-ey) were used by their ancestors as an accessory to dispel bad spirits at night because the seeds glow in the dark.
During their generation, however, the spiritual relevance of the seeds faded. Its artistic relevance today is growing because of the craft making.
Four years ago, Beray along with other Bokod women attended a workshop on bead making but the material they used were plastic and glass beads. After the workshop, they decided to continue the craft using the katjan.
Today, they are producing earrings, bracelets, necklace, key chains, pouches, and even bags out of the seeds.
The beauty of the seeds Beray shared is it has various natural colors including grey, light brown, blue, and black which are apt for designing jewelries.
The craft has become a family affair for them.
During the workshop, Beray’s youngest son was seated beside her making a 3-layer bracelet.
Beray shared the craft has triggered the creativity of her children and has become another source of income especially to those in college.
Beray with other women of Bokod are now participating in trade fairs and festivals to showcase the products they are proud of.