A trip to the Philippine’s Anthropology treasure trove.

Photo by Ricardo Yan

In our Philippine art and design class we were tasked to pay a visit at our very own National Museum complex located at Luneta, Manila. Our topic consists of art and tools that were used before the Spaniards came and destroyed most of our Identity as Filipinos. The following photos are a glimpse of what was left of our precolonial identity.

Artifacts of precolonial Philippine Art

As as I first entered the museum I looks instantly for intricate examples of precolonial art. One that caught my eye is this vase that has geometric diamon shape etchings. As simple as it is It reminds me of contemporary designs in terms of architecture and textile.

The famous Manungul Jar

The Manungul Jar is a vessel used by precolonial Filipinos to serve as a boat vehicle to the after life. It is usually heavily decorated according to the importance of the deceased person. This was found during the 60’s in Palawan near the Tabon Man remains. This is a testament that before Spaniards have arrived in Mactan we already have a concept of burial and hence a functioning society where religion, craftsmanship, comers takes place.

Palayok na hugis sa apat na suso

This was in the same gallery as the Manungul jar. And for me the breast suggest that it was inspired by fertility or the act of reproduction. I like the way that its symmetrical and in a way it proves that precolonial Filipinos already has a sense of design.

One Artifact that caught my eye is this polo that has ethnic designs on it which is a pretty interesting mix.

The Maitum Jar of Minadanao like the Manunggul Jar this serves as a burial jar for the deceased person. but unlike the Manunggul Jar this is shaped like a human suggesting that its more of a protection than a vessel compared to the Manunggul.

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