The Yakan people are among the major indigenous tribes in Mindanao. Having a major number of followers of Islam, it is considered as one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines. There are also a good number of Christians in this tribe as a result of the conversion of the line of Datu Kalun - Ruler of the Island of the Basilan. The Yakans mainly reside in Basilan.
The livelihood of Yakans at Basilan, particularly in Lamitan is through farming rice, corn and harvesting rubber. Aside from that, Yakan tribe is exquisitely known for being intricate weavers. They make effort and consume days in every fiber they weave to make a vibrant and colorful single handmade cloth.
These Yakan fabrics are used to be their traditional clothing. They have the so called Badju Lapi which is a tight blouse with long sleeves with gold buttons. They also have this square cloth used by the women as their head cover which they call Seputangan. A variety of Yakan fabric also used as table runner, coin purse and bags.
|with the Yakan weavers and LGU of Lamitan, Basilan.|
Today, things in Lamitan have become better since the siege in 2001. It seems to have recovered from the incident and a host of socio-economic problems it suffered. Yakan weavers' vibrant handcraft surely contributed to erase the dark shadow of its past.