The Anthropology Division

Historical notes



The massive studies and researches in Philippine Anthropology had earned fame and public respect for Jesus Peralta, Eric S. Casino, Alfredo Evangelista, Leonardo Concepcion, and Avelino M. Legaspi.

An all-time ethnographic masterpiece, the Tau't Batu Ethnography, was initiated by President Marcos in May 1978. It featured the photographic documentation of the Tau't Batu people in Singnapan, Ransang, Quezon, Palawan, and their related subsistence activities. A reservation of 14,000 hectares was established in this area for the project.

While the Division was preocuppied with anthropological researches, exhibits and technical assistance in museology and museography in addition to the production of technical papers and other publications, a catastrophe in the last quarter of 1995 halted these efforts. Super typhoon "Rosing" destroyed a portion of the roof of the National Museum Building, leaving the Ethnology Section flooded. Heavily damaged were numerous ethnographic specimens, research manuscripts, photographic documents and other records.

Towards the end of 1990s, the Division undertook projects concerning ethnic mapping: Revalidation and Publication of Ethnographic Catalogues; the Whale-Shark Hunting Culture among the Pamilacan Islanders in Bohol; the Systematic Documentation, Inventory, and Mapping of the Benguet Mummies in Kabayan, Benguet.

The return of Apo Annu to Buguias, Benguet in May of 1999 where it was finally laid to rest in a rock shelter in Nabalicong was another monumental event for the Division. Several rituals were performed to honor Apo Annu's return.

During the last quarter of the year 2000, Philippine ethnographic specimens from the ethnographic specimens from the ethnographic collections of General Bandholtz and Mr. and Mrs. Cook from Chicago, USA were turned over and shipped to the National Museum. These were documented and later temporarily exhibited at the 2nd Floor of the National Museum entitled "Crafts and Weapon: A Homecoming from St. Louis Exposition 1904." An additional 52-piece collection of assorted ethnographic materials averaging from 80 to 100 years old were later donated by the Charleston Museum of South Carolina as arranged by then Ambassador Ernesto Maceda through the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Anthropology Division remains a strong bastion of Philippine cultural and ethnographic studies.

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
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