Monday, May 3, 2010

Binangi, the Igorot Traditional House, now only a Story in the Past


For many years, the igorots had lived in small houses called binangi

But in the 1960’s big houses sprouted in my home town which made many people aware of the more comfortable houses. People started building two storey houses with rooms .  In the late 70’s there were only a few binangi left around.  These few houses were only used as storage for rice crops in the 80’s.

The traditional house of the Igorots called binangi is a four posted house with a pyramid-shape, thatched roof, with only the entrance as the opening.  It is a one room- 10 by 10 feet dwelling without furniture, save for a very low table called dulang which resembles the Japanese table and low stools called bangkito.  The floor is at least 2 meters high which makes the lower portion of the house a convenient place to stack all the family’s tools.   A portable bamboo ladder called tetey serves as stairs in going up the house.  This is portable and easily removed and raised in a corner when everybody is out for the day.  Houses in the Igorot villages didn’t have locks before but there was no robbery of any kind in those olden days.

The binangi of the Igorots had faded with time and what was left in my community is an abandoned binangi.  It is sad, but the people haven’t preserved the binangi for the young generations to see.  Today, Tadian is already a modernized town with lots of big houses copied from different countries.

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