Meet the locals among Banaue’s rice terraces

Meet the locals among Banaue’s rice terraces

The spectacularly etched hillsides may justifiably claim most of the plaudits in Banaue, but spending time with the locals is memorable too. The Ifugao are a people of fascinating culture, former headhunters who are creators not only of the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ but also bulol, sacred totems and figurines intricately carved in wood, and keepers of traditions that range from an extraordinary oral heritage that involves communal harvest chants spanning many days to wrapping their decomposing dead in cloth and hanging them in trees. Perhaps most strikingly however is the courteous and friendly welcome they extend to visitors – the hillsides may be testament to their industriousness, but locals unfailingly take time out from their labours to welcome others into their village – a privilege and highlight of any visit to these magical mountains.

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