June 9, 2011

Inculturation | Interpretation

The BenCab Museum just outside Baguio City is a treasure trove of sculptures and carved functional objects from the tribes who call the Cordillera mountains home, and of Filipino contemporary art, many of which feature traditional symbols and elements from those same tribes, which are collectively called the Igorot. One of the most prevalent and powerful symbols among the objects and artwork in the museum is that of the bulol, the rice gods. Despite the difficulties that the highland terrain impose, the lives of the Cordillera communities center around rice cultivation (five of the region's 2000-year-old rice terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Rituals and sacrifices to the bulol were made to ensure abundant harvests and protection from natural calamities. The antique hardwood bench below has two bulol carved on the backrest. The artwork displayed above it is Leonard Aguinaldo's "Bulol Mandala" (rubbercut, 2002, 91 x 91 cm).

Ifugao bench with bulol and Leonard Aguinaldo's Bulol Mandala at the BenCab Museum

11 comments:

DeeBee L. said...

Very attractive objects!

Kris said...

A well used bench!

Olivier said...

j'aime ce vieux banc, il doit avoir plein d'histoire a nous raconter

Cezar and Léia said...

It's beautiful indeed but I'm also enchanted by the bench! :)
Léia

MurciaDailyPhoto said...

Very interesting history about this part of your country.

Photo Cache said...

kudos to him for keeping the culture of the cordillera in the forefront.

Montreal Photo Daily said...

That's a great piece. Thanks for sharing your fabulous blog about Manila.

And I also wanted to say hi from Montreal!

Jacob said...

I would love to visit this place. And it is interesting to me how religions around the world, irrespective of time and space, usually operate from the same framework - there is a god somewhere (usually "up") who must be appeased for one reason or another.

Misalyn said...

Great pieces of art. Super like ko ang bench.

JM said...

I just love carved benches from Southeast Asia. I would gladly have this one in my house. :-) As well as the mandala, it's beautiful!

Rob and Mandy said...

2 fabulous pieces!