The Babaylan Collection
Babaylans are the shamans, healers and priestesses from pre-colonial Philippines. This collection is in honour of and dedicated to my indigenous ancestors and all tribal peoples; especially our grandmothers and the medicine women of past, present and future.
These pieces contain genuine leather and suede, animal bones, shells and beads made of glass, metal or stone. They are reminiscent of times past when one would wear the bones of animals they killed who possessed qualities or attributes they wanted to inherit. Bits of fabric from loved ones or special shells or stones became amulets and talismans for the wearer.
The Babaylan Collection is a tangible realization of my search for my biological family. During the pandemic, I have been researching (and searching for) my biological family. This research has led me deep into the belly of the Philippines. While my quest mostly involves modern day Philippines, I have developed a keen interest in pre-colonial Philippines and the indigenous peoples and cultures that were prevalent during that time. Stories of the ancient past mingle with the hypothesis of my most recent generations and I am still searching. There are still so many questions and with each answer, more questions are born. Sometimes it feels never ending but thanks to the kindness of my DNA cousins, where I once felt like I was floating and untethered, I now feel still and rooted.
These pieces include delicate shells and/or clay fragments. The fragility reminds us to walk with purpose and in intention. They are designed to be worn in ritual and ceremony (or on special occasions) and may not be suitable for everyday use. I hope when you wear my pieces, you feel the beat of your own ancestor's drum and that they inspire you to connect with the Priestess within.