Using Semiotics to Decode Tribal Flag’s Sign on Maguindanaon Culture and Traditions


Flags are part of ornamental accents in tourist spots, important events and festivities. The need to study their structures is deemed necessary to establish their significant implications to culture. The varieties of Pandala involved in this study were analyzed through the theoretical framework of semiotics. Semiotics is one way of evaluating an image’s message to determine what it portrays (Edgar & Rutherford, 2012). Interviews with key informants and gatekeepers were employed, and triangulated with the prominent tribal leaders and councils of elders. Pandal-+a in Maguindanaon term is the flag usually erected in conspicuous places for festivals, burials, wedding, Eidl Fitr and the welcoming of Haj. The major flag is called Pasandalan while the minor sizes of flags are called Pamanay and those finger-like ones are called Sambulayan. These original flags are diagonally cut against their fiber to produce raffled and swaying effect in a combination of Green, Red and Yellow. The modified ones use violet, blue, and pink color. Red flags are decorated and used for ordinary occasions with common tao while royal people use Golden Yellow. Flags, to the Maguindanaon, reveal the happiness and sadness, richness and poorness of one’s family and culture. Understanding these culture and traditions are simple yet complicated, but it is the key to peace and harmony. Thus, cultural education this study delved into is very important.

Author Information
Almira Menson, Mindanao State University, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2021
Stream: Cultural Studies

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon