About this Blog
Your participation is vital in preserving the cultural heritage of the Philippines. We have 10,000 objects of history right here in Chicago.
Each piece has a story, or kuwento, to tell. We need to collect, preserve and share these stories.
Please comment on any photo within this website, especially if you have knowledge of what an artifact is, where you have seen this, what it is made of, what does its design or colors mean, or any context to better understand the story of the artifact. Comments are moderated and open to anyone.
About the Philippine Collection
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago safeguards a remarkable collection of over 10,000 objects from the Philippines. It is one of the most comprehensive in the Western Hemisphere.
Between 1907 and 1910, Chicago industrialist Robert Fowler Cumming funded expeditions to the Philippines to collect artifacts.
Anthropologists Fay-Cooper Cole, his wife Mabel, William Jones and Stephen Chapman Simms were the primary scientists.
American soldiers who served in the Philippine American War during the early 1900s also donated some of the artifacts.
This amazing collection now sits in storage at the Field Museum. Many of these artifacts provenance and use have not been well researched.
About the Project: Co-curation
In 2010, Dr. John Terrell, Regenstein Curator of Pacific Anthropology at the Field Museum, started conversations with members of the Chicago Filipino community about his idea of co-curation.
Co-curation is the philosophy that a museum or cultural institution consult and directly involve the community from which the objects of culture originate.
Dr. Terrell selected the Philippine artifacts collection and the Filipino community as his first co-curation initiative with the Field Museum.
The Field Museum group includes Collections Manager of Anthropology Jamie Kelly, President Dr. Richard Lariviere, Vice President of Science and Education Dr. Debra Moskovits and museum interns.
On the community side, concerned Filipino Americans in Chicago are leading an effort to use the artifacts of the collection for the benefit of all. They are in full cooperation with the Field Museum, the community at-large and other Filipino and Filipino American resources at their disposal.
Dr. Almira Astudillo Gilles and Lani Chan, a Field Museum volunteer, convened these foundational discussions with Filipino and Fil-Am Chicago-based community members.
What you can do?
Please view all the photos and comment on them, especially if you have knowledge of what that artifact is, where you have seen it, what it is made of, what does its design or colors mean, or any context to better understand the story of the artifact. Comments are moderated and open to anyone. Thanks so much for helping ’10,000 stories come to life’.