Indigenous is the Future
When we hear the term ‘indigenous’, we often think of it as old, ancient, out of style or primitive. Part of our goal at Daily Malong is to change that conversation by bringing the indigenous into the present and the future.
A simple malong was the beginning of it all. What Filipinx would only see on stage during a singkil performance, could actually be part of our daily lives. Malong is one of the most versatile clothing. Apart from its beautiful colors, it has many practical functions. I’ve once used a malong as a ‘dressing room’ enabling me to shift outfits in airports during travel. I’ve rolled it into a bag that carried a bunch of costumes, books and other stuff that I carried. Style and function are two things that have been overlooked with the malong.
Daily Malong was built to help the Filipinx in the diaspora have a better understanding of themselves and be with their journey in navigating through their identity through the lense of fashion. It is the hub where they could connect with different pieces made from different indigenous textiles, woven by indigenous communities themselves.
The Daily Malong person is one who is either a Filipino, born and raised outside of the Philippines, a Filipino immigrant who's been detached from the country for a long time, or simply an individual seeking connectivity with indigenous Filipino textiles.
The Daily Malong person has an active lifestyle and they live in either an urban or contemporary world but want a piece of culture in their clothing from the most complex designed pants to the simplest piece of jewelry that shows culture and diversity. They want to be represented and they want to represent themselves based on inspirations drawn from their ancestral knowledge, family narratives and self education from different resources available to them in their communities.
The present and the future are not shy of the indigenous. The practices of the many indigenous communities all over the world are ones who will save us from climate change. The ancestral knowledge is within a lot of us and it’s just a matter of unravelling them to help us understand how we want to move forward with our future.
The textiles used for Daily Malong modern pieces as styled are a representation of how we might be looking at the future. More than representing the indigenous communities, wearing pieces from Daily Malong brings the look to representing itself - contemporary, influenced by ancestral knowledge through indigenous hand woven fabrics.