Tboli brass jewelry is one of many Indigenous art forms that tell the vibrant story of the Tboli peoples of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in Mindanao. With brass as their medium, jewelry brand Sesotunawa celebrates Tboli tradition, folklore, and spiritual connection to nature.
Sesotunawa’s vision and first creations were forged from the furnace of the Blunto household. Co-founder Joel Blunto grew up in his grandmother’s workshop, mastered Temwel (Tboli brass-casting), and dreams that more Tau Temwel (brass-smiths) will join him.
Sesotunawa originates from a Tboli phrase that translates to “the spirit of working together”. This virtue drives and defines Sesotunawa as a community enterprise.
It takes multiple artisans and days to finish a piece; Tau Temwel source materials from neighboring communities, model their design in wax, and mould a cast of it in clay一all before the brass is even brought to the fire. Once the metal is finally melted, poured, and cooled, you have a masterpiece of wearable heritage.
“My vision for starting Sesotunawa is rooted in my desire to help other artisans in Lake Sebu. I want to show them that we can market our own products and sell them at a fair price.”
Joel Blunto, Co-founder & Tau Temwel