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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 30
Location: California
Hello all,

I was recently informed of the passing of the revered T'boli dreamweaver, Boi Diwa Ofong. She died peacefully in the mountains of her ancestral homeland of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Mindanao.

Boi Diwa Ofong was a master t'nalak weaver, having gravitated toward the craft as a child watching her mother create this most sacred T'boli fabric. By her mid teens, she was learining to tie designs. While weaving became her craft, one that she mastered and taught, she also became admired as a leader in her community, a true matriarch of the T'boli people.

Boi Diwa Ofong is featured prominently in Neal Oshima's stunning work of photos and prose entitled Dreamweavers. In his Photographer's Notes at the beginning of the book, he says this - "My photography of the weavers officially started when the formidable Boi Diwa Ofong, senior weaver and community leader, sat me down, called for a translator, and proceeded to interrogate me as to my photographic intentions. After a remarkably wide-ranging discussion concerning the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society and the function that this book and my photography would play, I was thanked and dismissed. I suppose that some sort of test was passed because after that interview, I was given complete access to the weaving process and the lives of the weavers, and was never again questioned about my artistic intentions."

We mourn the passing of Bo Diwa Ofong. Let us also recall that those who toil and weave the art we love are not anonymous. They live wonderful, broad lives and are artists, as gifted and giving as the painter, sculptor or writer whose names we may know well. We have the ability and the obligation to make their names known and remembered as a tribute to their art, their culture and their lives.

Craig Diamond

Optimized-Boi Diwa Ofong.jpg
Optimized-Boi Diwa Ofong.jpg [ 80.59 KiB | Viewed 4480 times ]
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:00 am 

Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:01 am
Posts: 248
Location: Japan
May her ancestors recognize her by the cloth she wears, welcoming her in warm embrace, and may we all be likewise blessed.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:07 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: Canterbury, UK

Thank you so much for your heartfelt 'in memoriam' for Boi Diwa Ofong.

We mourn the passing of such a talented exponent of t'nalak weaving but also have gratitude that she had such a positive influence within her community during her lifetime and that we are fortunate to have the beautiful record of her art in "Dreamweavers". I give the link to details of the book in one of the posts on this forum: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=117&p=560#p560 Thank goodness that the photographer Neal Oshima passed his 'test'!

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