The study presents a mathematical analysis and provides an anthropological perspective of the funeral textile of the indigenous communities in northern Luzon, Philippines. In particular, a symmetry analysis is performed, based on principles of group theory and transformation geometry, on the various repeating patterns found in funeral garments and blankets. Results show that particular frieze groups and plane crystallographic groups are favored due to choice of motifs which are reflective of cultural beliefs and funeral traditions, as well as weaving style and methodology. The results of the analysis point to the depth of mathematics present in the work of the weaver, who is able to arrive at meaningful geometric designs without formal training in mathematics. This study contributes directly to the branch of mathematics pertaining to mathematical crystallography in art and cultural heritage which deals, among others, with the use of group theoretic methods and tools in mathematical crystallography to understand the mathematics in artworks arising from various cultures all over the world. It provides further data and analysis to the growing body of literature that uses symmetry to enhance interpretation of culture from the artistic style of its artifacts.
De Las Peñas and Salvador-Amores: Mathematical and Anthropological Analysis of Textile. Philippine Journal of Science Vol. 145 No. 1, March 2016.