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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 10.13: 19th Century French Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

 Indiens Bisayas [Native Visayans], 1846, from Jean Mallat. A visayan man is in a striped Barong and woman in baro’t sayaThe illustration here is titled Indiens Bisayas [Native Visayans], 1846, from the Jean Mallat book Les Philippines: Histoire, Géographie, Mœurs, Agriculture, Industrie, et Commerce des Colonies Espagnoles dans l’Océanie. Mallat, Bayot and Lemercier are credited as authors of this drawing. A description of Mallat and Les Philippines is in our previous installment Part 10.12.


A native Visayan man and woman are pictured here. The man wears a striped work barong with the sleeves rolled up, a striped patadyong (a tube-like wrap-around skirt worn by men and women of the Visayas), and a red putong on his head. He carries a rooster in his right arm, likely for cockfighting, and a water jug in his left hand. The woman wears an indigo long sleeve baro with lace detailing on the cuffs, a black beaded necklace with cross pendant, a windowpane saya (skirt) and a plaid mantilla (veil) on her head. She carries a white handkerchief in her left hand and she reaches for the man’s arm with her right.

Despite being islands away in a different region of the Philippines, this couple dresses very similarly to Tagalog people. This is likely attributable to Spanish colonization and influence.