Banaue, Philippines - Ifugao hilltribes
Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Covering a total land area of 262,820 hectares, the province of Ifugao is located in a mountainous region characterized by rugged terrain, river valleys, and massive forests.
The Banaue Rice Terraces are the main tourist attraction in the province. These 2000-year-old terraces were carved into the mountains, without the aid of machinery, to provide level steps where the natives can plant rice. In 1995, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ifugao culture revolves around the rice, which is considered a prestige crop. There is an elaborate and complex array of rice culture feasts inextricably linked with taboos and intricate agricultural rites, from rice cultivation to rice consumption. Harvest season calls for grandiose thanksgiving feasts, while the concluding harvest rites "tungo" or "tungul" (the day of rest) entail a strict taboo of any agricultural work. Partaking of the rice beer (bayah), rice cakes, and betel nut is an indelible practice during the festivities and ritual activities.