A group of people carrying and transporting a house.

Bayanihan House Relocation. Image Source: Walter Marquardt Collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Working Definition:

“Dwelling” is an ethnographic term used to describe living quarters of peoples in the Philippines. While not inherently harmful, the use of terms such as “dwelling” and “habitat” in colonial documents ascribes a detached, overly general description on the representations of socio-cultural practices and ethno-linguistic groups. Concomitantly, this term is an example of “controlled access” vocabulary that may appear in subject headings of finding aids and collections guides and, therefore, may be difficult to revise. For the purposes of clarity and to highlight cultural productions of Filipino peoples, efforts should be made to describe Philippine architecture with greater specificity in the narrative elements of finding aids/collections guides, if possible.

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Rebecca Tinio McKenna, American Imperial Pastoral: The Architecture of U.S. Colonialism in the Philippines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017); Norma I. Alarcon, Philippine Architecture During the Pre-Spanish Periods (Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1991)