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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 11.15: 19th Century English Artist Illustrations of Life in the Philippines

Cosecha Del Palay by C. W. Andrews. Men in barongs and women in baro't saya help with the harvesting of rice in the Philippine countryside

This piece is titled Cosecha Del Palay [Rice Harvest] (1859 / 1860) by English artist C. W. Andrews. It was published in the Philippine periodical Ilustracion Filipina. Our descriptions of Andrews and Ilustracion Filipina are in our previous installment 11.7.

This illustration depicts the very common sight of farm work in the Philippine countryside. An integral part of the Filipino diet, rice is harvested by people and carabaos here, in contrast to the machinery and automation of modern times. The subjects here transport and gather the rice crops together to form large piles ready to be processed by hand.

In the foreground, there are farm animals, like ducks, chickens and a dog to the left and center. To the right, there are women in baro’t saya (top and skirt) and tapis (overskirt), one with child and two others walking from the piles. There is also a large man in a matching indigo outfit of work Barong Tagalog and knickers with a putong (head wrap) overseeing the work.

Moving towards the background in the center, we see men, also in matching indigo outfits of work barongs and knickers with salakot (wide-brimmed native headwear), adding harvested rice crops onto a new pile.

Moving further towards the background to the left, a man in a work barong, knickers and salakot, rides a carabao that is pulling harvested rice towards the foreground.

Further in the background, there are more female and male farmhands dressed similarly to those in the foreground.