Villages are territorial units referred to as afu’ amongst Bontoc people and bobley or pfuglay amongst Ifugaos. Villages have been used as a reference point for ethnic identification amongst groups. In the villages, people dwell in traditional houses, a structure that functions as a storage and ritual space especially for rice rituals. As the villages underwent changes over the years, new settlement configurations emerged with government structures now positioned as “town centers” and prevailing over the use and management of natural resources such as forests and land resources. Population grew and families built contemporary types of houses in which they now dwell.

In some villages in the Cordillera, people fear several conditions that were brought by supernatural manipulations in the villages. Thus amulets and charms were produced to address an individual’s needs, either for protection or to gain advantage. People have shown artistry and craftsmanship in objects they produced to adorn themselves. Physical adornment also revealed gender, age and rank in the some villages in the Cordilleras. Prestige was often shown in what people were wearing in the villages during occasions.

Text: Prof. Dr. Leah Abayao