Documenting the Construction of a Traditional Kamalig (Salt-Making Hut): the Indigenous Skills and Knowledge Systems of an Endangered Craft Tradition in Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines

By Andrea Yankowski, Dr Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador | 15 October 2021

This project will document the material processes and technical knowledge related to the construction of a traditional kamalig (salt workshops), and the production of traditional asin tibuok (native salt) in the community of Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines. Household salt making in Bohol is an old tradition and has been an important part of the island’s economy up until recent times. A century ago, much of the southwestern coastline was lined with salt workshops, i.e., open-air structures made of native materials where families produced artisanal salt. Today, there are very few individuals who still practice the local craft of salt making or who have the specific knowledge or skills needed to build a salt workshop – a knowledge system that has never been documented and is in danger of disappearing.


Using photography, video, ethnographic interviews and field notes, this project will document this important traditional knowledge. This includes where to source the native materials used to build a salt workshop, how to construct the workspaces and the salt-making equipment, as well as how to produce this unique, local salt. This project also seeks to raise local awareness of this traditional craft and potentially help support the revitalization of this industry, even if only on a small scale. Upon completion of the salt workshop, a salt-making demonstration will be held in order to help disseminate this knowledge and raise awareness about the significance of the local salt-making craft to the younger generation in the community.


PI:

Andrea Yankowski

Collaborators:
Dr Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador

Location of Research:
Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines

 

Top Banner Image: A salt workshop in Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines. Photo: Andrea Yankowski