Bolos Kano or welcome is what greeted us on my first visit at Marawi City for an afternoon trip. We were at the Aga Khan Museum on the grounds of the mighty Mindanao State University – Marawi campus, the main campus for the whole MSU educational system.
The first stop was the repository for Maranao and other Moro artifacts. Aga Khan Museum is one stop to educate one of the Maranao culture — and I was happy to undertake, despite nagging fear.
A massive Kulintang sits at the entry way of the museum showcasing the musical heritage of Maranaos. It is a musical instrument composed of rows of small horizontally-laid gongs that functions melodically with other musical instruments like the suspended gongs and drums. It was on 2005 that the ancient song, Darangen Epic of MaranaoPeople of Lake Lanao, was selected as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO,
Named in honor of King Aga Khan, the museum has many cultural materials and a collection of indigenous arts, native tools and weapons used by the Muslims.
|Aga Khan Museum, MSU Marawi: Miniature Torogan
A definite highlight for the museum is the miniature Torogan. Torogan are the artistically designed ancestral houses of the upper class Maranaos. I am hoping to see a preserved Torogan one of these days. If History lessons serves me right, there should be no larger houses than that of the torogan of the Datu or the highest title holder of the tribe — for this signifies rank, prestige, and wealth.
Known for their colorful weaving and wood and metal crafting, the Maranaos shows the fine taste of good artistry and skills.
The Okir or Okkil is the range of folk motifs, geometric forms, that is prominent in Maranao artworks. Found in wood and metal carvings, and clothes —- the intricate the design, the higher the prestige has to the one who bears it.
Clad in expensive silk, the Maranao women is styled in decently covered colorful clothing. Lining up on a corner shows the different ways Malong or tube skirt is used by, both, Maranao men, and women. It is traditionally used as a garment, akin to the Sarong used by the people in Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.
“There were three stages of the Battle of Marawi. the first was in 1639 when the Spanish joint military and religious expeditions was launched against the Meranaos, under the command of Capt. Fancisco de Atienza and Fray de San Pedro to colonize Lanao area and Christianize the Muslim Meranaos. the expedition was unsuccessful.
After years of planning and preparations, on March 10, 1895, Gen. Ramon Blanco and his mighty Spanish Army (5,00 heavily combined Spanish-Filipino soldiers) marched toward Marawi. After heavy bombardment of Fort Marahui and hand-to-hand fight between the Spanish-Filipino soldiers and the Meranao defenders/fighters armed only with brass cannon (laila/lantaka), kampilans, spears, and krises, the Spanish finally took possession of Fort Marawi. ”
~ Dr. Mamitua Saber (Founder, Aga Khan Museum)