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‘Meranaw artisans are cultural bearers, masters’, says MSU Marawi prof

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)--A well-known professor of the Mindanao State University (MSU) - Main Campus based here in the city has firmly underscored that Meranaw artisans are not just merely artisans, but rather, cultural bearers and masters that everyone should recognize.

Professor Tirmizy Abdullah from the History Department of the university stressed that he sees these artisans as upholders and masters as they also showcase the identity of their race in their respective productions. 

He noted that this is only part of the unseen intangible aspect of sustaining culture. 

This, as Abdullah raised that people at times fail to magnify the other side of culture which consists of nonphysical things. 

“Minsan, nakakalimutan natin makita is the intangible. Ang nakikita lang natin ay ang tangible, ang products. Ang nakikita lang natin ay ang issue ng economic viability pero hindi natin minsan nakikita ang associated na identity doon sa pinoproduce nila,” he said. 

[Sometimes, we forget to see the intangible. We only see the tangible, the products. We only see the issue of economic viability but sometimes, we do not see the associated identity of what they produce.]

Abdullah emphasized that using the framework of cultural heritage, the citizenry should not limit themselves to tangible, movable and cultural property but they must likewise extend their perception to the intangible ones, especially the traditional craftsmanship. 

Highlighting the importance of the culture and its vital intangible side, he affirmed the necessary move for the transmission of such to further strengthen the adoption of their identity by the next generations to come.

Moreover, Abdullah shared his desire for the formation of a cultural institution given that the people who will be composing it are not just plain artisans but also the carrier of who they are as a race. 

“Once na hindi matransmit [ang culture], [Once [the culture] would not be transmitted,] that would be the end… They have to form a cultural institution, not just a cooperative kasi hindi lang sila [because they are not only] cultural artisans but cultural masters. They are cultural bearers,” he said. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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