The Uswag Artesano Project: Advancing the Creativity and Adaptability of Basket Weavers in the 3rd District of Leyte

Implemented by the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST GS CCCPET), this scoping research project intended to develop a database focused on deepening the people’s understanding on the weaving heritage and potencies of the artisans in the Third District of Leyte.

This initiative can trace its roots in 2019, when the UST GS CCCPET embarked on a cursory heritage mapping project. In broad strokes, the mapping project identified and documented the heritages – both natural and cultural, reminiscent and evident in the landscape and localities. For six months, heritage mappers composed of teachers, youth, women, historians and enthusiasts, scoured and wrote the stories of their communities. The cultural heritage mapping surfaced themes of potencies and promises and graduated to a heritage utilization project entitled “Uswag Leyte.”

Woven Networks – Craft changemakers conserving forests is a partnership between the Forest Foundation Philippines and its grantee, the British Council through its Crafting Futures global programme. It aims to initiate new collaborations and support projects that champion indigenous knowledge systems towards sustainable resource management and improved livelihood of craft communities.  The grants support research projects that highlight sustainable practices of indigenous craft communities for forest conservation.