Typically the Ifugao house sits elevated on four sturdy posts, a windowless structure built of hand-hewn native timbers expertly fastened with mortised joints and tenons. Inside there is an open earth and stone fireplace for cooking, and floormats for sleeping and sitting. Family possessions -- baskets, bowls, clothing, skulls (human and animal), and magic paraphernalia -- are hung from walls or stacked on elaborately carved shelves. Wood ceilings are low, to allow for the storage of rice overhead; underneath the house is a place to sit and gossip and work on household tasks. Although Ifugao houses vary little from this basic configuration, houses of the nobility often feature distinctive architectural refinements such as massive Hagabi lounging benches, decorated attic beams, kingposts and doorjambs carved with human effigies, and ornate exterior friezes portraying pigs, carabao and other animals. Separate rice granaries which are smaller, but otherwise of the same basic design and construction of houses, are also evidence of high status within the community, earned by ambitious and industrious individuals. In traditional Ifugao society upward mobility is founded on ownership and effective management of extensive wet rice terracing, astute borrowing and lending and the support of the gods elicited in magical-religious ceremonies. The commercial instincts of the Ifugao are well developed and there is considerable bartering, exchange and manipulation of assets. Progression from the lower to the upper strata of society is accomplished through the accumulation of wealth, marked by a series of increasingly lavish rituals, feasts, sacrifices and commissioning of artifacts corresponding to the position sought or gained. Although this pursuit is an extremely costly undertaking that requires the support of kith and kin, enormous prestige and privileges are gained, including the right to wear certain ornaments and dress, to display elaborate house emblems and architectural refinements, and be buried in a particular style of coffin. In earlier times, martial prowess and headhunting skills were also important factors in achieving upward mobility; nowadays, these particular skills are less important.  Socially the ritual process of advancement helps to ensure the distribution of wealth (as represented by rice and animals), provides an outlet for the energetic and ambitious, and encourages the continuous building of terraces and the production of rice. By following this sytem wealth is not accumulated to excess but is restored to the community in return for privileges and honor. Competition is fierce among the aspirants as each struggles to demonstrate their munificence to the people, while with largesse and rituals they seek the support of powerful spiritual beings.