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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, Addendum Part 18.5: Un Indio Pampango con su Quaquo by Damián Domingo

Damián Domingo - Un Indio Pampango con su Quaquo - Kapampangan rice farmer processes rice in a royal blue work barong

The painting here, titled Un Indio Pampango con su Quaquo [A Native of Pampanga with his Pipe], is from Damián Domingo’s Baboom collection of tipos del pais (types of the country, native dress) paintings, No. 3 from 1833. Our description of Domingo and the Baboom collection is in our previous installment 18.1.

The subject of this piece is a male rice farmer processing rice grains by transferring them from a larger ceramic pot to a smaller one below. He does this while smoking his pipe in front of a field of unharvested rice crops. The man is in his work attire.

The farmer’s work attire consists of a royal blue long sleeve work barong and cropped wide-leg saya saya pants with embroidery at the bottoms. These clothes are likely made of breathable fabrics, like cotton, linen, ramie or abaca. He wears a putong (head wrap) and has a hankerchief draped over his shoulder. Both of these are made of patterned foreign madras fabric, likely from England or France. These were procured from the Manila Galleon Trade.

Although the farmer’s clothing and accessories are for comfort and functionality, the color of the barong, the embroidery details of the pants and patterns of his hankerchief and putong suggest these are purely aesthetic choices for style purposes.