The Mandaya is one of Mindanao’s surviving minority tribes of the Philippines. They live in the mountainous areas above the coastal town of Davao Oriental particularly in Boston, Cateel, Bagangga, Caraga and Manay. For many generations the Mandaya have woven cloth from fibers of native abaca tree, a variety of the banana family, which is abundant in the region. The finest grade of hemp extracted from abaca stalks is stripped pounded, combed then prepared for dyeing by tying thus, the word tie-dye. The dyes are made from mud, root and other organic materials.
This cloth is known locally as dagmay. It is distinguished from other tribal weaving by the intricate figures and patterns depicting the folklores and religion of the tribe. The Mandaya have carried the human and crocodile motifs to their highest expression. The crocodile is held sacred as shown by the frequency with which it appears in their decorative design. This art is handed down from generation. There is no patterns copy. Each design is an expression of the weaver. the unique culture of dagmay weaving by the Mandayan tribe earn them the title "Lumad that Weave Dagmay" .