Woman's skirt (dagmai)

Filipino (Mandaya or Bagobo)
Late 19th century to early 20th century

Object Place: Mindanao, Republic of the Philippines, Southeastern


Overall: 81.3 x 144.8 cm (32 x 57 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Leaf fiber (abaca), cotton, natural dyes; warp-face plain-weave, warp yarn resist- dyed (binud-bud, ikat)

On View

Arts of Asia, Oceania, and Africa Gallery (Gallery 177)


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Woman’s skirt (dagmai) of red, black and natural ecru plain-weave cloth (warp: abaca and cotton; weft: abaca) hand stitched together to form a tube. The main design elements consist of a wide, central band in black and natural of alternating geometric, stylized crocodile (binuwaya), and anthropomorphic motifs. There are two narrow flanking bands in black and natural with similar motifs. Separating the bands are narrow stripes in red, black, natural and blue.

Traditionally, the crocodile was a dominant motif in the textiles of the Mandaya and Bagobo people. The ferocity of the ubiquitous crocodile was associated with demons and other supernatural beings. Since the power of the crocodile could also be seen as a protectorate, its stylized presence can be found on many items that were either worn or adorned the body.


Lent by Miss Anna D. Slocum, September 11, 1913; Gift from Miss Anna D. Slocum to the MFA, November 13, 1941

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Laura Slocum and Mr. William H. Slocum in the name of their sister Miss Anna D. Slocum