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Gold of Ancestors

The exhibition of more than one thousand gold objects celebrates the sophisticated cultures that existed in the Philippines before colonization in the 16th century. Many of the precious objects were recovered in association with tenth to thirteenth century Chinese export ceramics. Similarities in form and iconography with artifacts of other Southeast Asian cultures affirm regional affinities and inter-island contacts that flourished in these archipelagic crossroads of civilizations. Adornments of elite individuals and their deities include a spectacular array of golden sashes, necklaces, pectorals, diadems, earrings and finger rings, bracelets, and anklets. Here, the role of archaeology in reconstructing the past is illuminated, demonstrating how funerary offerings become valuable sources of information for subsequent generations of the living.

Watch excerpts of the documentary Gintong Pamana (Gold Heritage) that aired in ABS-CBN last June 8, 2008, featuring the Gold of Ancestors exhibition:

Exhibition curator: Florina H. Capistrano-Baker, Ph.D.

Image details: KINNARI. Surigao. Ca. 10th-13th century. 7.4 x 4.6 x 12.1 cm. 179 grams. Cat. No. 81.5189. Ayala Museum Collection, Photo by Neal Oshima

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