T'boli House

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The T'boli houses are located near the banks of Lake Sebu or on the hilly portions of the South Cotabato in the southern island of Mindanao. Their houses varies according to the family's economic status because the size of the house is directly proportional to the owner's wealth. Since there is a close interaction between the members of the family, those extended family form different clusters made of three or four houses. Generally, the houses are spread sparsely over the area and the clusters function independently.


The house of the T'boli is raised about six feet ore above the ground with its side always barely more than three feet high. The materials used for the roof is cogon or sometimes dried grass which is strung and sewn to the bamboo rafters with strips of raw abaca or rattan. The posts used for the house is bamboo except for the three stump that are still rooted to the ground that the people utilized as post for the inner portion of the house. The walls of the house are made of bamboo split from the inside and flattened out or woven bamboo strips which they call lahak.

Gunu Bong

The large two level house of the T'boli is called gunu bung. Its structure is almost similar to other types, they only differ in size. It is a home for an extended family averaging about eight to sixteen persons. The house is laid out in a rectangular plan about fourteen meters long by eighteen meters wide. This shape of the house is appropriate as a weaving area for the sacred tinalak fabric. The lower central space is integrated with the elevated sides areas. This area is the "area of honor", where the sleeping area and the vestibule is. The dos aguas roof is not steep and is made of bamboo frames and thatch. The vertical edges of the roof also covered with thatch walls. The walls of the house are made of split bamboo, worked into a flat wall. The doors and the windows of the house is awning-type. They were opened outwards and serves as shelves during the day. The bamboo or wood ladders were drawn up to keep the intruders out. Today, the T'bolis still continue to live on the banks of placid Lake Sebu and live peacefully in total harmony with nature.




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