May 27, 2024

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera has issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against a local store selling machine printed Cordillera textiles.
NCIP-Cordillera Director Marlon Bosantog issued the CDO to 5 Cents Up at Center Mall, following the letter of entrepreneur Avelyn Lomas-e Calag to Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr., raising concerns on the sale of machine printed Cordillera textiles.
Dalog brought Calag’s concern to the attention of NCIP-Cordillera, emphasizing the sacredness of Cordillera weaving.
He said, “Selling of machine-printed textiles (imitating Cordillera designs) is truly insulting and has desecrated and exploited the unique weaving heritage of the Cordillera which was passed on by our forebears as a previous heirloom.”
“These copycats do not understand the meaning of our indigenous woven fabrics within the context of our culture,” added Dalog.
The NCIP-Cordillera reminded 5 Cents Up and other similar establishments selling machine printed Cordillera textiles that the production of the same violates the property rights of indigenous cultural communities/IPs’ intellectual property rights.
It added that the production of machine printed textiles bearing indigenous weaving patterns requires the prior consent of the IPs.
“In order to avoid any legal actions that may be brought against you by the IPs (as owners of the intellectual property) on account of the commercial sale of the machine printed textiles, we advise your establishment/s to pull and to cease and desist from selling the same to the public,” the CDO stated.
NCIP-Cordillera said Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices (IKSPs) like the Cordillera weaving patterns are collective properties lodged to the IPs and are inherent part of their cultural patrimony.
These IKSPs, not limited to the Cordillera weaving patterns, are systems, institutions, mechanisms, and technologies comprising a unique body of knowledge evolved through time that embody patterns of relationships between and among peoples and between peoples, their lands and resource environment, including such spheres of relationships which may include social, political, cultural, economic, religious spheres, and which are the direct outcome of the indigenous peoples, responses to certain needs consisting of adaptive mechanisms which have allowed indigenous peoples to survive and thrive within their given socio-cultural and biophysical conditions.
Apart from the adverse effects it may cause towards the weaving IP communities in the Cordillera, the NCIP underscored that manufacturing of machine printed Cordilleran textiles will strip the soul off of the Cordilleran textiles and reduce the same into a mere brand.
It added that the unique and intricate Cordillera weaving pattern is akin to the history and well-being of IPs dwelling in the region.
“Patterns and designs of the Cordillera were woven and designed beyond memory can recall. It is part of the IPs’ identity that withstood centuries of injustices. To reduce the IPs’ identity into a mere brand would mean gradual yet painful ethnocide to our IPs.” – Rocky Ngalob