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Indigenouism is a visual arts movement that promotes environmental protection by utilizing "Indigenous Materials [1][2] as media in artistic creations. It emphasizes more of an aesthetic value, instead of focusing on socio-cultural themes often used in literary themes, theatre, and other related arts. Using locally sourced media also promotes the culture and tradition of an artist's stomping ground, especially when artists come from more remote areas. For example, due to his poverty, "Elito Circa[3] also known as Amangpintor, began using hair and blood as experimental media in 1978. Since then, Indigenouism has become a signature style in his artistic career.[4]



Indigenouism, in general, refers to the work of art by a local artist who uses raw materials available immediately in the area. It is a movement by artists and their works of art using Indigenous Materials for their "Masterpieces. It includes activities and creations by those who have felt an inclination toward social and cultural isolation and traditional forms of art. The term Indigenouism comes from the word Indigenous, which refers to things that are naturally occurring in a specific place or area; and indigenous or native people, those who live in a specific place or area (often those who live in remote areas).

The term Indigenouism was coined by Elito Circa[5] who led the Indigenouism movement, by showcasing his paintings and introducing his methods to other artisits in 1993. Through this, many of the local artists in his town, even throughout the province, adopted prominent and primary agricultural products as media for their paintings. The movement also advocated for artists in other towns to use the readily available products in their areas, thereby promoting each town’s unique identity.

Another term, "Indigenism on the other hand, which refers to ideologies associated with indigenous peoples, is used differently by various scholars and activists, and can be used purely descriptively or carry political connotations. "George Kubler's (1985) used the term indigenismo to describe an ideological and stylistic perspective in twentieth-century Latin American art; he underscored the modern nature of this concept as a particularly historical mindset and, less strictly, as anartistic style. It signifies a contemporary attitude in modern Latin American art that concerns itself with the “retention of pre-conquest styles”, as in the murals of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. More importantly, it draws impetus from a twentieth-century expansion of exact knowledge about antiquity in the Americas and seeks to restore Preconquest civilis-ations to “symbolic authority” (Bakewell, 1995, p. 24; Kubler, 1985, pp. 75–76; Ramos,1998, pp. 5–7). It reflects a desire in modern or modernised societies to be deeply movedby an “unremembered past” (Cameron and Gatewood, 2003, pp. 55–56).[6]

Artist advocates[edit]

Some areas are less endowed than others, hence making the local people more recreative and resourceful, experimenting and producing their own materials to be used for their talents and hobbies and other art-related creations more particularly paintings. In the late 20th century, many local artists in the Philippines has started making their own ways as painters who also adopts Indigenouism. Amongst them were Mark Lawrence Libunao (Garlic),[7] "Ramon Lopez (Rust),[8] "Jordan Mang-osan (Solar),[9] Maria Hidayah Viray-Newingham (Rice), Arlee Macapagal (Onion), Danilo Talplacido (Rice Hull), Dante Enage (Tuba),[10][11][12] Rey Lorenzo (Coconut juice-Tuba), Rhod Gamatan (Betel Nut), Patric Palasi (Coffee),[13][9][14] Ella Hipolito (Coffee),[15] Percy Denolo (Mud) ,[16][17] "Whang Od and other Indigenouism Artists.[18][19]


In 1998, a group of artists and "mountaineers led by Amangpintor wanted to protect the environment against "global warming by supporting the advocacy of using indigenous raw materials for painting and at the same time address the issue of lack of materials for painting due to "poverty. Creating brushes out of "strands of hair, extract from "fruits, "vegetables and "trees are very significant discoveries and experiences of Amangpintor that according to him, this should be taught and shared to the children of new generation especially in the "rural areas.


  1. ^ "What are Indigenous Materials". David Danio Jr. Samahang Makasining(Artist Club), Inc. 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  2. ^ "What is Indigenouism Arts". Teresita Circa. Samahang Makasining. 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  3. ^ "The Pantabangan Folk Painter: Elito V. Circa". The National Committee for Culture and the Arts Website. National Committee for Culture and the Arts. 2004. Retrieved 2004-10-18. 
  4. ^ "Artist with blood on his hands". Constantino C. Tejero. Life Style Inquirer. 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  5. ^ "Artist uses own blood, hair in paintings". The Philippine Star. Philippine Star. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Indigenism, painting and identity: Mixing media under Philippine dictatorship". CHERUBIM A. QUIZON. Seton Hall University. 2005. Retrieved 2015-03-20. 
  7. ^ Filipino Artist Uses Garlic for Painting. TV5. 2009. 
  8. ^ tv 5 Rustpainter interview @pilipinas news. TV 5 News. 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Tam-Awan artists embark on first rubber cut exhibit. Manila Times Newspaper. 2015. 
  10. ^ Dante Enage is mixed media artist. Fine Art America. 2015. 
  11. ^ LOOK: Tacloban artist paints Duterte portrait using 'tuba'. ABS-CBN News. 
  12. ^ Get ‘high’ with Dante Enage’s tuba artworks. Manila Channel. 2013. 
  13. ^ SunStar Philippines on Facebook. SunStar Newspaper. 2015. 
  14. ^ Baguio artists showcased in 2nd My City, My SM, My Art. Baguio Midland Courie. 2016. 
  15. ^ Creating art with coffee beans. ABS-CBN News. 2016. 
  16. ^ Pilipinas Got Talent Season 5 Road to Semifinals: Percy Denolo - Mud Shadow Art Performer. ABS-CBN Entertainment. 2016. 
  17. ^ Percy Denolo, Mud Artist. UNTV Good Morning Kuya. 2015. 
  18. ^ Kakaibang Obra sa Unang Hirit. GMA7 Unang Hirit. 2010. 
  19. ^ Good News. GMA7 NewsTV. 2012. 
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