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Tam-awan Village
Town/City:  Baguio City
Province:  Benguet
16° 25.764N   120° 34.585E
Listed in Gallery:   Artist's Workshop

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Click on any of the images to see the enlarged copy and narratives of the photo.

Tam-awan or "viewing/vantage point" is a cluster of huts featuring the vernacular architecture of the Cordilleras laid out to recreate a typical mountain village.

Owned by artist Ben Cabrera along with other friends and cared for by the Chanum Foundation, vanguard of our northern cultural heritage, this "living museum" seeks to preserve the few remaining architectural relics by sparing them from demolition.

Though basically similar, differences in house construction is attributed to the skill and expertise of the tribe the hut hails from: Annaba, Bangaan, Battad, Bocos, Dukligan, Kinakin, Nagos and Obal to name a few.

Seeming to be "all roof", is the Cordillera hut's design solution for protection from the elements above and dangers on site. It's steep sloped roof makes for efficient run-off for torrential rains, layers of bunched-up dried mountain grass laid out on "runo" armature provides water-proofing and insulation from the cold. Meanwhile, rat-guards called "halipan", infrequent windows and the single door access via a ladder dawn up at night likens the hut to a suspended bubble. The interiors attest to this seamless volume. Everything happens inside this one-room house including the cooking which explains for the accumulated soot on everything including its occupants.

Visitors are welcome to use these huts for sleep-overs and may just chance upon on-going workshops and seminars on Cordillera music and crafts or even cozy up at the "dap-ay" bonfire for a traditional menfolk gathering.

At the time of our visit, signages and brochures were sorely lacking, missing the opportunity to educate the general public on the laudable effort that is Tam-awan.

Waypoint narrative by: ChachaVG 2003



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