Traditional wooden houses are an integral part of the identity of the majestic Ifugao rice terrace landscape as the architectural heritage of the indigenous Ifugao people. These traditional houses function as family residences and serve as rice granaries, refuge, and special housing for unmarried people in the community. In as much as the materials used for the construction of the traditional house are sourced from the surrounding wood lots and communal forests, the traditional house serves as an important record of the history and value of indigenous and endemic trees found in the central Cordillera mountain range. This study identified 206 traditional houses in Kiangan town, and from these houses, transverse sections of house parts from the dismantled and standing houses were examined. Thirty-two species of mostly indigenous and endemic trees were used to construct traditional houses across four periods: (1) before 1931, (2) 1931–1960, (3) 1961–1990 and (4) 1991–2020. The Ifugaos consistently utilized the preferred wood species such as Amugawon (Vitex parviflora), Udyo (Pterocarpus indicus), and Itangan (Weinmannia luzoniensis) for traditional house construction. Wood species such as Yakal (Shorea astylosa), Gmelina (Gmelina arborea), and Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) were also identified from recently constructed houses. The disappearance of certain premium hardwoods and a shift to commonly available but less quality wood is noticeable, as the former were over-utilized but never mass-propagated. Finally, a conservation planning workshop on traditional houses was organized among local homeowners, barangay, and municipal officials, agreeing on the following points: (a) creation of an ordinance to protect and conserve existing traditional houses; (b) development of information, education, and communication materials on the importance of traditional houses; and (c) enhanced collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders.
The website oldestwoodenobjects.net serves as a platform for the scientific community to collect, display and share early traces of wood utilization. It also serves educational purposes, to teach a wide audience about how multifunctional and durable wood can be, when wisely used. The collection of objects is large and diverse, ranging from simple tools for hunting, like spears, to musical instruments of the high culture, such as violins. The first means of transport, dugout canoes or early infrastructure, like water wells, are remarkably old. Due to weathering, early buildings or constructions are poorly or only partially preserved. But some sacred buildings that are still in use today have an impressive age. At the time of writing this manuscript, a total of 211 prehistoric and historic wooden objects from around the globe were gathered and can be compared at the online application. The oldest item on the list is from 300 000 years before present. To continue expanding the database, the community is encouraged to contribute new entries.
Wooden shingles have been known in Europe and other regions worldwide for several thousands of years. They are usually split, and according to handicraft rules, as well as historical literature, a split surface has many advantages. It is more flexible, more elastic, stronger, and less exposed to cupping than a sawn surface because no fibers have been cut. It also follows wood rays; it is more durable than a sawn surface because cut fibers absorb more moisture, creating good conditions for fungal growth. However, because sawing is the main procedure for dividing logs into timber, sawn boards are currently used for roofing. The short life span of such roofing has often been discussed by craftsmen. In this study, a 37-year-old roofing was evaluated to determine the important parameters of high-durability sawn boards. Results showed that the presence of juvenile wood, fiber deviations, and knots reduced the durability of these boards. Therefore, sawn boards of the same wood quality as split shingles may have the same durability.
Stringed musical instruments, which have a long and rich worldwide cultural history, have slowly evolved from ancient lutes to contemporary instruments such as the Italian mandolin. The mandolin has been an iconic element of Italian musical tradition and culture for more than 400 years. In this study, we report on the acoustic characterization of modern Italian mandolins in terms of bridge admittance, sound radiation, and modal shape measurements. The vibrational behavior of the soundboard was studied by means of finite element analysis (FEA) to establish a link between the mechanical and physical properties of wood and the acoustic response of the instrument. This study presents some important features of the acoustic behavior of mandolins and sheds some light on the influence of wood properties on the instrument’s timbre and its variability.
This paper aims at re-evaluating two of Hungarian artist Dóra Mauer’s films, the video work Proportions (1979) and the 16mm film Timing (1973/80). Both films follow a rigid structure. In Proportions, Maurer uses a paper roll to compare her own body measures repeatedly; in Timing, she repeatedly folds a white linen to compare the rhythm of her arm movements. Through her use of paper and the gesture of folding, the two films can be read as references to the very origin of the term format, as coined in early letterpress printing. When the notion of format is understood as a determination of a ratio and, as such, as an indexical reference to given social relationships (Summers, 2003), these films unfold sociocultural and political meanings. The present paper traces this spectrum of meaning through the pointed inclusion of historical discourses surrounding early motion studies, the art scene in socialist Hungary in the 1970s, and early time experiments before the advent of precision clocks.