Isneg Apayao chest mother of pearl adornment "Sipattal

A beaded neck- chest shell ornament locally known as "sipattal" from the Isneg people of Northern Luzon, Philippines circa early 20th century.

It is considered one of the most beautiful tribal ornaments of the Cordillerans, worn only by the Isneg tribe of northern Apayao, This is considered the most important piece of personal adornment worn by men and women alike.

This sipattal was composed of diffferent collors of tiny beads separated by dividers made from water buffalo horn. Twine of braided strings joins the two ends to a rectangular mother-of-pearl piece, from this two apex hang six rows of mother-of-pearl sections in butterfly-like forms ( each about 1.7 inches across) dangle. Each row ends with a triangular shell a small version of the rectangualr shell apex. each of these triangles culminate in a fringe of of cut shell "tassels". (Ref. Roberto Maramba - Form and Splendor)

"The Isneg have combined shell ornaments of this type [with winged pendants], along with triangular shell shapes and beads to form the sipattal , perhaps the single most striking example of jewelry found on the Cordillera. Worn suspended from on the chest or less frequently down the back, from a beaded collar, these neck pieces are reserved for special occasions when they are donned by both men and women." (Ref: The People and
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