Tolgè, the Ifugao wraparound skirt (part1: Ginallit)

The tolge’ is the traditional wrap-around skirt of Ifugao women. It is also called ampúyo in the Kiyyangan culture area.

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.

The Ifugaos of today weave different kinds of skirt, each representing the different ethno-linguistic groups of the province. Nevertheless, an Ifugao skirt can usually be identified to one of the following:

  1. The Ginallit (also known as Pfinalet, Intinlu, and Binnalit)
  2. Ińgalgaletget
  3. The Pfinuttaw
  4. The Binayaung and the Binayaung an Pinagawaan
  5. The Gammit an Binobodan and the Gammit an Nilihha


Ginallit, the all-Ifugao striped skirt

The ginallit is the true Ifugao skirt in the sense that its use is most widespread in all of Ifugao. Depending on the linguistic area, it is also known as intinlubinnalit, or pfinalet.

The typical ginallit is a series of parallel black (or dark blue) and white stripes. It is made of three panels; hence it is called intinlu or “in threes” in the Kiyyangan culture area.

Traditionally, the panels are joined by alternating black and white takdog stitch that serves both utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. In more recent forms, the takdog is sewn with alternating black and red threads.

The edges of the skirt are decorated by the kuttilap stitch, triangular embroideries of alternating red (or white) and black thread. The skirt’s cut edges are hemmed then embroidered with the hambulud in alternating red and yellow threads.

A shorter and narrower version of the intinlu, called the indinwa (“in twos”), is also woven but worn basically as a working skirt. Panels are joined the same way as in intinlu, but usually without the hambulud.

As a funerary skirt for the kadangyan class, one ginallit will always have to be buried to go with the gammit or binayyaung

In present-day Mayoyao, a royal   blue version of the ginallit has become the preferred “official” color. In earlier times, it is navy blue (or black) as natural dye colors and processes would provide.

This recently-introduced binnalit skirt from the Banaue area retains the primary colors of the Ifugao -- bold black and red stripes with a few white, yellow, and green. 

Influx of tourists heightened the production of woven items to meet the demand of visitors. Nonetheless, these new weave designs retain features such as colors, stitches and  embroideries reminiscent of traditional garments.


See how similar (and different) these are worn then and now.