Philippine gold exhibition opens in New York

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Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

An exhibition of gold artefacts from the Philippines opened earlier this month at the Asia Society in New York. Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms will run until 3 January 2016.

Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

Phillipines History to Shine at Asia Society Museum
Newsweek, 06 September 2015

Philippine Gold Glitters in the Big Apple
The Filipino Express, 07 September 2015

A Golden Discovery in the Philippines
Asia Society, 11 September 2015

When Filipino worker Berto Morales was digging on a government irrigation project in 1981, he literally struck gold. But what he found that day was worth more than its weight—he had uncovered evidence of a lost civilization.

On Friday, Asia Society New York unveiled its exhibition Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, displaying more than 100 gold artifacts on loan from the Ayala Museum and the Central Bank of the Philippines in Manila. Most objects trace back to the Kingdom of Butuan — a still scarcely understood civilization centered on the island of Mindanao that rose to prominence in the 10th century before mysteriously declining in the 13th. But it took more than seven centuries for the objects to be found, and once they were, they wouldn’t be seen in the West for another several decades.

Gold has always factored into the history of the Philippines, a country still estimated to have as much as $1 trillion worth of untapped deposits beneath its surface. And despite what little is known about Butuan some aspects of its society clearly revolved around the precious metal.

Full story here, here and here.

Butuan gold pieces to go on display in New York from next month

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Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

Ancient gold jewelry from the Ayala Museum collection will be exhibited for the first time in New York at the Asia Society from next month.

Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

NY society to get a glimpse of Philippine pre-colonial gold
Philippine Inquirer, 12 August 2015

When the exhibit of gold artifacts from the Philippines opens at the Asia Society Museum in New York City next month, visitors will be astounded by the quality and intricacy of the pieces. The fact that they date from the 10th to the 13th centuries should be even more cause for amazement.

This is the first time that these pre-colonial gold objects, on loan from the collections of Ayala Museum and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will be exhibited in the United States.

“Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms” opens Sept. 11 and will run until early January 2016.

Full story here.

Philippine Gold to go on display in New York

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By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

A trove of Philippine gold from Butuan province, usually on display at the Ayala Museum in the Philippines, will be exhibited at the Asia Society in New York from this September to January next year. Having seen them before I must say the gold pieces are quite exquisite, but it is a pity there is very little contextual information to them.

By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ancient PH gold exhibit heads to New York
ABS-CBN News, 15 July 2015

About 120 gold artifacts mostly from the golden age of Butuan, a city in the Southern Philippines, will be on display at the Asia Society Museum in New York beginning September 11.

Ancient Filipinos in Kingdom of Butuan had a sophisticated culture with a fine taste for handcrafted gold items during the 10th and 11th centuries.

“The Filipinos, before they were called Filipino, were making beautiful, artistic, exquisite jewelry from gold. So it’s like King Tut of Egypt being discovered and coming to the Metropolitan Museum. Everybody went to see it. This is our King Tut,” said Community leader and philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis.

Organizers of “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms” were recently at the Philippine Consulate in New York to promote the exhibit.

“We are aiming for spectacular, not just a special this fall,” Tom Nagorski, executive vice president of Asia Society said.

Full story here.

Philippine National Museum to excavate two more balanghai boats

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The Philippine National Museum announced that they will excavate two more balanghai (balangay) boats in Butuan City. 3 out of the original 9 found were first excavated in 1986 and the oldest dates to the 4th century.

Butuuan Boat at the National Museum of the Philippines

Butuuan Boat at the National Museum of the Philippines

National Museum to dig 2 more balanghai boats in Butuan
MindaNews, 25 February 2012

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The pre-colonial Bisayan practice of skull moulding

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17 November 2006 (The News Today) – Henry F. Funtecha writes another article about the early Bisayans and talks about their skull moulding practices and how they appear in the archaeological record.

The pre-colonial Bisayan practice of skull moulding Before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the Bisayans practiced skull moulding as a way of enhancing one’s beauty. As mothers and midwives are well aware, the skulls of newborn infants are so soft if they are continuously laid on the same side, their head become flat on that side. Many societies have taken advantage of this reality in order to provide their children a skull shape which conforms to the local tenets of beauty. … How do present scholars know that the early Bisayans practiced skull moulding? Archaeological diggings in burial sites in Cebu, Samar, Bohol and other places in the Philippines had turned out dozens of skulls that clearly show the physical effects of moulding or binding. This writer himself had seen at the Aga Khan Museum at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City in 1992 two complete skeletons that were discovered in Butuan grave site showing reshaped skulls with black teeth filed to points.