Nestled amidst the picturesque mountains of the Cordillera region in the Philippines, Tam-awan Village stands as a living testament to the preservation of indigenous culture and heritage. This cultural haven, located in Baguio City, is a reflection of the Cordilleran way of life, bringing visitors closer to the roots and traditions of the region’s indigenous peoples. Let us embark on a journey to explore the captivating charm of Tam-awan Village and discover its significance in safeguarding the cultural legacy of the Cordillera.
Here are Some Things You can Do in Tam-awan Village
- Explore Traditional Huts: Wander through the village and explore the traditional Cordilleran huts meticulously reconstructed using authentic materials and construction techniques. These huts represent the architectural brilliance of the Cordilleran ancestors and offer insights into their sustainable way of living.
- Attend Workshops: Engage in hands-on workshops conducted by local artisans and craftsmen. Participate in activities like weaving, pottery making, bamboo crafts, and traditional wood carving. Learning these ancient crafts directly from the skilled artisans is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate their artistry.
- Art Exhibits: Tam-awan Village serves as a vibrant art hub, regularly hosting art exhibits showcasing the works of local and international artists. Stroll through the galleries and admire the diverse art forms that celebrate Cordilleran culture and beyond.
- Cultural Performances: Experience the richness of Cordilleran culture through cultural performances and demonstrations. Witness traditional dances, music performances, and rituals that tell stories of the community’s beliefs and way of life.
- Language and Culture Exchange: Engage with the locals and immerse yourself in their culture. Participate in language exchange programs to learn some basic Cordilleran phrases and expressions, fostering a deeper connection with the community.
- Hiking and Nature Walks: Take advantage of the picturesque location and go for a hike or a nature walk around the village. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests, and savor the tranquility of the natural setting.
- Traditional Cuisine: Delight your taste buds with authentic Cordilleran cuisine. Sample traditional dishes such as pinikpikan (chicken soup), inabraw (vegetable stew), and other delicacies made from locally sourced ingredients.
- Cultural Lectures and Talks: Engage in educational lectures and talks organized by the village’s experts and cultural practitioners. Learn about the history, customs, and beliefs of the Cordilleran communities.
- Art and Craft Shopping: Support the local artisans by purchasing their handcrafted souvenirs, artworks, and traditional crafts. These unique and meaningful items make for excellent gifts and mementos of your Tam-awan experience.
- Meditation and Reflection: With its serene and picturesque surroundings, Tam-awan Village provides an ideal atmosphere for meditation and reflection. Take some time to connect with nature and appreciate the cultural richness of the place.
A Glimpse into Tam-awan’s History
Tam-awan Village was established in 1998 by the Chanum Foundation, a group of local artists, historians, and cultural enthusiasts, with the vision of promoting and preserving the traditional arts and culture of the Cordilleran people. The word “tam-awan” itself comes from the Kankanaey term “tamm-awan,” which means “vantage point.” True to its name, the village sits atop a hill, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
Preserving Indigenous Heritage
At the heart of Tam-awan Village lies a profound commitment to preserving and promoting the diverse cultural heritage of the Cordilleran communities. It serves as an interactive museum, presenting a collection of authentic Cordilleran huts, or “Ifugao huts,” reconstructed using traditional techniques and materials. These huts provide visitors with a glimpse into the architectural brilliance and sustainable lifestyle of the Cordilleran ancestors.
Local artisans and craftspeople often gather at Tam-awan Village, showcasing their talents in weaving, carving, and other traditional crafts. Visitors have the unique opportunity to witness and even participate in hands-on workshops to learn these indigenous arts, strengthening the intergenerational transfer of knowledge.
Promoting Sustainability and Eco-Tourism
Tam-awan Village takes pride in its commitment to sustainability and eco-tourism. With a focus on preserving the environment and the ecosystem surrounding the village, the community advocates responsible tourism practices. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs, minimize waste, and support local businesses and artisans.
In conclusion, Tam-awan Village is not just a tourist attraction; it is a cultural sanctuary that bridges the gap between the past and the present. Its profound dedication to preserving the heritage of the Cordilleran indigenous communities is an inspiring example for cultural conservation efforts worldwide.