Muslim Art

The art of the southern Philippines, closely related to the Malaysian art of Indonesia, is notable for the richness of its colours (golden yellow, bluish green, reddish mauve), and both the local cloths and woven mats have the same brilliant hues. Wood-carving (okir) shows the same qualities, and has two favourite themes – the sarimanok, a bird with outspread wings holding a fish in its beak or claws, and the naga or stylised snake both of which are accompanied by floral motifs in simplified form. The Muslims are also highly skilled coppersmiths, producing small jars and caskets chased with arabesques for utilitarian purposes. The same patterns are found on the kris, a dagger with an irregularly shaped blade, and the kampilan, a kind of long sword.

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