A Philippine pinahod (backstrap loom), recently donated to UMMAA by Bontoc master weaver Catherine “Cathy” Ekid Domigyay, is now on display in the Ruthven rotunda, available for public viewing. UMMAA collections managers Andrea Blaser and Jim Moss, illustrator Bruce Worden, and student museum assistant Mason Bright installed the loom as part of a showcase of the campus Cultural Collections units. The displays were designed to spotlight their institutional missions in the administrative building. UMMAA chose to highlight their efforts toward decolonization, particularly the work of the Reconnect/Recollect project, which brought culture bearers like Cathy to U-M to to engage with the collections and their colonial histories.
From the exhibit label:
"This narrow fabric is not the finished product. Once the woven piece is completed it would be sewn together with several others to create a wider textile.
Bontoc master weaver Catherine “Cathy” Ekid Domigyay kept the textile on this pinahod (backstrap loom) partially finished to show the weaving in process. Backstrap looms are used throughout the world, as they can be rolled up and made portable in a way that a large pedal loom cannot. Cathy learned her craft from her mother and the women of the Village of Can-eo in Mountain Province, Philippines.
Cathy donated this work and others so that her children and community members will be able to appreciate the importance of Bontoc weaving by seeing it preserved for future generations alongside the other cultural collections curated at the University of Michigan."