The Ifugao houses were usually similar in architectural designs but they differ in decorative details depending on the tribes. Their houses were harmoniously located with the contour of the rice terraces. The one-room house of the Ifugao commonly know to them as fale. The exterior of the house seems to be nothing but a pyramid resting on four posts, while the interior space is enclosed by slanting walls and ceiling that appears to be spherical that are formed by the loft.
The Ifugao House have three functional levels: the ground floor, the second level for the living quarters and the third level which was used as the granary. The ground level the posts have wooden discs which was called oliang to prevent rats from entering the house. The second level or the living area was accessible through a removable ladder. The social affairs, eating, cooking and sleeping are all done in this area. At the third level there was the patie, it is a shelf that extends from the wallboards outwards to the underside of the roof. It serves as the storage area and as a structural support to the roof. Inside the house was embellished rows of skulls of animals offered to gods during their annual rituals and also as a source of pride to the homeowner
The Ifugao house is sturdily crafted of timber from amugawan trees raised on four posts, which was buried 50 centimeters below the ground and locked in with stones. The four wooden posts that rest upon the pavement and support two wooden girders, which also supports three wooden transverse joists. The floor joists, floor silts, vertical studs and horizontal beams rests on the post and girders at about head level from a cage. The floor boards were fitted between the joists. The wooden sides of the house slant outward and rise up to the waist, this forms the lower half of the wall. The upper half of the wall is formed by the inner side of the roof. This creates a dark, windowless chamber which suggests a womb. The roof system rests on the “house cage”. The steeply pitched pyramidal roof is covered with thick layers of thatch or cogon, this insulate the house from the heat of the sun and from the torrential rail.
The Tianga is a cooperative effort of the people within a neighborhood to dismantle, relocate and reassemble a house into its new location. The house of the Ifugaos can be totally dismantled due to the indigenous all wood construction system that they use. The house can be dismantled, relocated and reassembled in a day. The relocation may be due to sale, inheritance or change of place to cultivate.
- Valera-Turalba, Maria Christina. Philippine Heritage Architecture: before 1521 to the 1970s.Philippines: Anvil Publishing Inc.,2005
- Lumbera, Bienvenido. "Early Shelters and Houses". Tuklas Sining: Essays on the Philippine Arts. http://www.filipinoheritage.com/arts/architecture/early-shelters2.htm (Accessed on April 11,2008)
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