Thanks to Vincent Cabreza for picking up our post on the Ifugao hut in London and for adding new details to the story. Thanks also for the shoutout to both this blog and The Nashman’s.
You can read Vincent’s article here. But here’s some excerpts and our usual unsolicited comments (hehe):
Ifugao Gov. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said the hut’s predicament was “unjustifiable.”
He said government officials once consulted him about relocating an Ifugao hut inside a Philippine property abroad, but had not followed up this request with information until the embassy announcement this week.
Just as we suspected. We don’t think the embassy officials really exerted much effort to find a new custodian for the hut. In Sagada tambay speak, “for compliance” lang ginawa nila.
“I did not even know it was [a hut in the Philippine Embassy in London]. I can’t even remember the government official who referred it to me. In the first place, bringing the hut to London as decoration is culturally inappropriate, and now they have no use for it, the hut is discarded just like that,” Baguilat said.
He said Ifugao huts are probably as popular as the centuries-old rice terraces in the province.
Just to clear things up, according to the Nashman, the hut was brought to London by the British Museum so maybe the original purpose was really to include it in the museum’s collection. We don’t know how it ended up in the embassy though.
Ifugao huts are intricately designed, and are erected “like lego-sets” because each beam is shaped by hand to fit together without using nails, he said.
Hopefully, we will continue to learn how to do the design 🙂 Manuel Dulnuan has more details about the construction of an Ifugao hut here.
“There is actually no death ritual accorded properties. There is a ritual conducted when Ifugao huts are transferred, but if government is going to spend at all on the hut, it may as well be for its relocation and not a ‘death ritual,’” Baguilat said.
Yup. The governor is correct in that there is no such thing as a death ritual for inanimate objects. To be honest, we actually coined “death ritual” but we based in from the source and then we also can’t think of any other term to describe what was going to be done to the hut.
Baguilat said he was contacting his relatives based in London to let them take custody of the granary because it will take another Ifugao to reconstruct it after it is dismantled and shipped out of the embassy compound.
Thank God for that. At least there won’t be any “death ritual”. Hopefully a permanent and more fitting home will be found for this hut. Again you can read the whole Inquirer story here.