Object Description Workshops
In November 2021, the Mapping Project put together a 5-day workshop on writing culturally informed object descriptions for Philippine material culture. 5 sessions of 2 hours each were held to cover as much ground as necessary for a macro view of Philippine material culture as a field of study; and micro-level work that goes into registers of words, phraseology, and if necessary sentence construction.
November 22 Workshop 1 Lexical Review
To commence the series, the first workshop updated the anthropological, archeological, linguistics, social science, and humanities work on the peoples of the Philippines to the present time. Readings were given to the participants a week ahead of the workshop date. The workshop revisited and problematized the following words, among a number of others. In the course of the discussions on each, the current relevant literature was reviewed:
Tribe, Kingdom, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Royalty Nation, Blood, Race, Malay, Ilustrado, Slave, Filipino, Asia, Asian Minority, Tradition, Authenticity, Motif, Design, Art, Civilization Craft, Igorot, Aeta, Negrito, Moro
November 23, 24 Workshop 2 – 3 Technical Lexicon
The range of techniques that comprise the traditional ways of making cultural material in the Philippine archipelago was discussed in relation to a cartographic frame: the extent of use of particular techniques in island Southeast Asia, time frames, and homelands of ethnolinguistic groups.
The range included
o Weaving: Woven-in patterning, Reverse/Reserve Dyeing, Surface Augmentation, Tapestry
o Metal-smithing: Repoussé, Cire perdue, Casting, Granulation, Gear Beadmaking, Filigree, Woven gold, Inlay
o Wood and Stone Working: Sculpture/Carving, Relief, Inlay
o Boat-Building: Dug-out Carving, Plank-built Walling, Lashing and Tying
o Mat Weaving
o Earthenware: Coiling, Paddling, Molding, Potter’s Wheel-
Turning November 25 Workshop 4 Object Description
By the 4th session, the participants now familiar with both the museological vocabulary and the issues posed by some traditions of language use proceeded to a series of object description exercises, assigned randomly to 5 objects each. The objects are from different museums in the world, although all will have a Philippine provenance. The clinic-style approach programmed immediate response from the mentor. Mentor response included
o Guided use of technical vocabulary
o Sentence construction in relation to the use of technical vocabulary
o Considerations of alternative word use
o Advice in relation to descriptions of form and patterning
o Possible citations of available literature pertaining to object description
November 26 Workshop 5 Writing Output
The series ended with the participants writing on one object they selected from an array provided from the Mapping site. A follow-up workshop is scheduled for March 8 2022 to allow the fellows to annotate the Mapping site with their object descriptions.
The WORKSHOP Fellows
We had an overwhelming number of applications, but we chose the first 25 fellows because they either had ongoing time-sensitive projects with direct relevance to the workshop, or they were in a position to share or steer their organization's direction in terms of thinking through/cataloging materials for their regional museums, academic departments or research projects.
Gaston Kibiten is a Kankanaey from Bauko, Mountain Province and an anthropologist, He does research and has published works mostly on the Kankanaeys. He serves as Curator of the Museum of Igorot Cultures and Arts at Saint Louis University, Baguio City.
Randy Nobleza ay isang tubong Boac, Marinduque. Nag-aral at nagtapos sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa Diliman ng Sertipiko ng Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino at BA, MA Araling Pilipino. Nakamit niya ang PhD sa Araling Filipino: Wika, Kultura, Midya sa Pamantasang De La Salle sa Manila. Mahilig siyang maglakbay sa iba-ibang bayan sa kapuluan at sa ibayong dagat para sa dokumentasyon, pagmapapa at pagbabahagi ng mga malikhaing naratibo sa iba-ibang anyo.
Kathleen “Katte” Trocino Geneta is an artist, weaver, and museum director of design in NYC. She studied material culture, anthropology, and object conservation during her masters and wrote on the history of Philippine objects in American Museums.
Mercedes Tiosejo is a manager at Ayala Foundation and heads partnerships, programs, and exhibitions at Filipinas Heritage Library.
Ma. Regina E. Yoma is a curator in the University of San Carlos Museum. She is also working as one of the research associates in the Northern Cebu Archaeological Project, a joint undertaking of the USC Museum and the National Museum of the Philippines.
Rica Estrada is Officer-in-Charge of the Visual Arts and Museum Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Vice President of the Alliance of Greater Manila Area Museums. Her museum practice runs parallel to her roots in independent initiatives, art management for start-ups in the arts and culture field, and problematizing gaps in Philippine art history.
Caroline Tacata Baicy is a PhD Candidate of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research focuses on an intersection of cultural performances, colonization, as well as cultural and material history in understanding late 19th and early 20th century Cordilleran history.
Joelah Azriel Solis is a graduate of BA Philippine Arts Major in Arts Management and Cultural Heritage from the University of the Philippines Manila. He is working as a Culture and Arts Officer of the Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Eunice Sanchez is an artist and a museum worker based in Manila. Her works mostly revolve around photography and alternative processes. Her practice engages with themes relating to preservation and perception.
Chiqui Escareal-Go is an MA Anthropology graduate student at the University of the Philippines Diliman (course work completed, thesis ongoing). She also finished her MA in English Language and Literature Teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is also the CEO of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. (www.mansmith.net)
Jasha Gutierrez is a Research Associate at the Museo Kordilyera under the CHED-Funded project Museum Management Training for HEIs. She graduated with a BA in Social Sciences Major in Social Anthropology last 2019. Before that, she worked as a research assistant on various project concerning indigenous studies.
Patricia Mae D. Aliño works for Cartwheel Foundation Inc. an NGO that aims to provide culturally relevant education to indigenous learners. She is also the policy and research lead for missing perspectives an online platform that aims to address the marginalisation of young women in both news coverage and decision-making around the world.
Noreen H Sapalo is an anthropologist teaching at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Her previous research (pre-pandemic) reflects my interests in human rights and social justice issues, especially among indigenous and urban poor communities, while her current research focuses on the sociocultural impact of Covid-19 on the death and mourning rituals of Filipinos.
Nurtimhar Adil Shahaji is an instructor in the education and liberal arts department of Southern City Colleges, Zamboanga City. He hails from Siasi, Sulu, a second class municipality of Sulu, and is a native Tausug.
Vanessa von Gliszczynski is the curator of the Southeast Asia Department at Weltkutluren Museum, Frankfurt am Main, since 2011. She was the main curator of "The Common Thread" (2016) and co-curated several other exhibitions. She originally studied ethnomusicology at the University of Cologne, focussing on Indonesian Pop-Music and popular culture.
Carlito C. Amalla is Agusanon Manobo and an Assistant Professor at the De La Salle-CSB. He was 2020 Outstanding Leadership in Culture and the Arts in New York City, 2016 UPAA-Distinguished Alumnus in Community Empowerment. He holds a BFA major in Sculpture and a MA in Art History at the UP Diliman.
Jerome Punzal is currently a curatiorial associate at the Museo ng Kaalamang Katutubo. He worked as a Culture and Arts officer for the Awards and Recognitions Unit of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, under the Office of the Deputy Executive Director.
Jim Moss is a collections manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA). Jim connects researchers and community members with UMMAA’s archaeological and ethnographic collections. His work in the digital humanities seeks to expand awareness and access to museum collections and documentation through respectful and ethical curation, while attempting to address colonial and institutional harm caused by past and present curation practices.
Nicholas Trudeau is a Native American and an anthropological archaeologist who studies the Great Lakes from 1400-1700 with an interest in Community-Based Participatory Research and the repatriation of ancestors and the healing of past harms caused by anthropology.
Leonardo Rey S. Carino is a cultural worker and an educator. He is the founding Artistic Director of RMMC Teatro Ambahanon and a full time faculty at the Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges in Mindanao Philippines. He curates ethnographic exhibits as head of the RMMC Blaan Studies Center.
Danielle Tamara Fabella is a freelance artist and writer. She finished her BFA in Painting at the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2019. She has written for different art-related publications, including Art Plus Magazine, the Cartellino Digest, and the Narra Studio Journal.
Titania Buchholdt is a cultural worker based in Northern California. She has worked with indigenous culture bearers since she was a teenager, and has been teaching traditional kulintang ensemble music since 2001.
Jayson Jaffy V. Fajardo is a cultural worker in Intramuros, Manila and based in Quezon City. He writes childrens' books regarding folklore and cuisine from Pampanga (Atsu ne i Eng-eng: https://shop.vibalgroup.com/products/atsu-ne-i-eng-eng) and essays about cultural work in policy-making institutions (https://pkl.ateneoartgallery.com/essays/nandiyan-lang-kultura-at-mga-sining).
Liana Melissa E. de la Rosa is the Director of the Centre for Samar Studies and the Museum Curator of the University of Eastern Philippines. She has attended seminars on museums and facilitate workshops on cultural mapping under the NCCA. She teaches anthropology, and Cultural and Arts subjects.
Princess Mhay is a Collections Assistant at Nayong Pilipino Foundation. She is a former Curator at Museo ng Gumaca, Quezon. She is an MA Art Studies (Curatorial Studies) student at the Department of Art Studies, UP Diliman. Her research interests are the Philippine Cultural and Local History.
Tessa Maria Guazon - is an educator, writer, and contemporary art curator based in Manila, the Philippines. She is an Assistant Professor of Art Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman.