Fil-Am Harvard Grad Student Links Filipino Artisans to the U.S.
October 26, 2019, New York City—NARRA STUDIO is a new social enterprise and cultural shop featuring a curated collection of clothing, accessories, and objects that highlight artisans and manghahabi (weavers) from all over the Philippines. Created by Filipino American artist Katte Geneta and based in New York City, NARRA aims to bridge Filipinos worldwide to their shared cultural heritage while providing sustainable employment opportunities to indigenous artisans and communities.
Kathleen “Katte” Mascariñas Trocino Geneta, a Filipino American artist and weaver who has exhibited internationally, notes the profound effect researching Filipino habi has had on her life. “When I started exploring these beautiful fabrics, I couldn’t help but feel connected to the hands that wove them. I started weaving just to learn more about how our manghahabi create these beautiful pieces.”
A mom of two children, a designer and photographer for museums by day, and also a graduate student at Harvard University, Geneta aims to foster Filipino pride and cultural identity while bridging Filipino artisans to the other side of the world. “There is so much artistry within these traditions in the Philippines and I hope these are passed down to all our children,” notes Geneta.
NARRA’s curated collection features Kalinga, Yakan, Mangyan, and Ilocano handwoven fabrics, Blaan hand-embroidered garments, T’boli brass jewelry, embroidered barongs and blouses from Lumban, and more. NARRA offers completely made-to-order pieces as well such as custom barongs and custom Baybayin brass jewelry.
“It would be wonderful for more people to know about the diverse and talented indigenous traditions of the Philippines, and we do not have much access to their work here,” says Geneta. “I hope with NARRA, we can offer a way for Filipinos abroad to feel closer to their homeland as well as provide more means of livelihood for our artisans in the Philippines.”
Visit www.narrastudio.com to learn more.