Tolgè (part3: the Gammit)

The tolgè is the traditional wrap-around skirt of Ifugao women.

There are as many variations of the tolgè as there are major Ifugao groups --- but all of them follow a basic pattern of colors and stripes. Each design speaks of identity and place of origin.

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Kiangan women wearing the ceremonial gammit during
an Uya’uy ceremony in the early 1900 (RF Barton)


The gammit is the most ornate of all the Ifugao skirts having all the symbolisms used in other traditional textiles. It was originally woven using the ikat or binobodan technique. 

The gammit is made up of two panels joined together by the takdog stitch and hemmed on its edges with the hambulud. The belt required for the gammit is the full-length mayad.

The gammit an binobodan as woven in Kiangan.

The inullog is used for the edge of each panel.

In its traditional context, the gammit is a ceremonial wraparound used in the performance of the uya’uy and its related feasts of merit.

Gammit Ibune, Lagawe

The nilihha or pinilli (supplementary warp)-design gammit has variations in Kiangan, Asipulo, Lagawe, and Hingyon.

The Kiangan gammit

The Kiyyangan culture area originated the use of the gammit as a skirt for the kadangyan.

The gammit Asipulo

Kadangyans wear gammit when they participate in prestige ceremonies (bumoykat) and a mandatory part of their gaggaom during their funeral.

The Hingyon gammit

As in other woven products, colors of the gammit vary from one Ifugao community to another.

Kiangan women wearing the two types of gammit — 

binobodan and nilihha/pinilli (2013)

A KIWA master weaver wearing

the gammit Asipulo (the weaving room, 2017)