Monday, April 18, 2005

Tam-awan Village: a haibun

One of the most interesting sites to visit in Baguio City is Tam-awan Village. This is a reconstruction of a typical community of the Ifugaos, one of the indigenous peoples located in the north. To date, the place consists of seven Ifugao huts and two Kalinga houses.
is it the bamboo leaves
this village of seven huts

In its art gallery, "paintings" done through solar drawing are displayed. In solar drawing, the artist uses sun's rays through magnifying glass as paint brush.
solar drawing--
for best results
be still

Visitors of Tam-awan village can rent any of the huts if they want to stay a night or two. The place is therefore ideal for retreats.
another transient
in this village:
a black hairy worm

An Ifugao hut is made of hand-hewn timber, except for the roof which is made of reed or cogon. The brochure for the place states that, with periodic re-roofing, the hut can last several generations. At the time of our visit, we had a chance to witness what I think is the start of the re-roofing process. In one of the huts, an old man is tying bundles of thatch.
for an old hut
that has weathered many storms,
new thatch ready


Blogger mael brigde said...

i love how you have written this, roh mih--the bits of journalism alternated with poetry. i want to climb down off of my chair and walk into the village.

but no one lives there? it is just a model of a village? does anyone live in such villages anymore?

i have wondered about the pre-contact religions of the philipines. do they still exist or are they pretty well absorbed into buddhism and christianity? is there any interest among the indigenous people still living there in reclaiming aspects that have been lost? are the boundaries between the old and new ways very firm?

eeh. i think i have just asked for an essay. i'm sure you will write only what makes sense.

good to drop by.

10:33 AM  
Blogger roh mih said...

Hi, Mael! Thanks for the comment.

Tam-awan Village is a place both for artists and for tourists. One can rent one of the huts for a night or two. The site is a model of traditional or pre-Spanish Ifugao villages located in Mountain Province, north of the Philippines. I believe, especially in the remote parts of said province, that such villages still exist.

Most of the indigenous peoples particularly in the north have been christianized. There are, however, still some people who practice indigenous religion. In the south, i.e. Mindanao, people are either Christian, Muslim, or lumad (indigenous peoples). The Lumads practice indigenous religion.

The indigenous peoples are in a continuing struggle to protect their culture and tradition against foreign and Western culture. But there are efforts at interfacing the two.

7:46 AM  
Blogger mael brigde said...

i'm happy to hear there are efforts being made to "interface", as you say. it breaks my heart to see lovely people like some of the missionaries i met (and loved!) in haiti who believe it is their duty to destroy the indigenous religion to free people for God. i would love to know how anyone attempts to interface with that sort of an attitude! (and i don't mean that sarcastically. i really WOULD love to know, so i can use it when i go back there.)

blessings, roh mih.

2:07 PM  
Blogger jon said...

I am trying to find roofing terms people and found your blog while searching. I totally agree with that...

9:54 AM  
Blogger C said...

hello, we are very interested in visiting tam-awan village on our trip to baguio this december. may we ask for directions or i you have contact numbers of the people in charge? we've heard bencab has a studio there? does anyone know how can ig et in touch with the legendary filmmaker kidlat tahimik? thanks.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I would like to ask the life of the artist in tamawan village. Are they really after the preservation of indigenous culture. How are they being affected with modernization and globalization since this place is place in a ur banize are particularly baguio? Thanks.

11:36 AM  

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