Project Title:

World's Indigenous Peoples' Day Exhibit

Implementation Site:

Asian Center

Scope of Work:

Conceptualization and Exhibit Design

Refurbishing of Asian Center Display System

Collection Management

Project Status:



The exhibition gave way to the changing of the old exhibit on display.  The display system was also refurbished with walls repainted and new lighting. 

The Philippines is rich in craftsmaking traditions. These traditions evolve as people negotiate with daily life—developing tools and systems to aid day-to-day existence. As such, the crafts objects fulfill functions related to all aspects of life: cooking, farming, fishing, eating, rest, personal ornamentation, clothing, leisure, and even defense. Crafts come to define a people’s culture, their aesthetics, skills, and worldviews. 

The indigenous cultures are an excellent reference point to defining basic cultural identities. These expressions of identities may well be observed in their material culture, under which crafts are categorized. As cultures slowly come under various influences, indigenous cultural identity could always refer back to their material culture in search of their roots. 

This exhibition was mounted in line with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrated with a conference bearing the theme of “Strengthening Partnerships in the Development for Indigenous Peoples,” which was jointly organized by the European Union, International Labor Organization, United Nations, Haribon, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, Manlilikha Artisans’ Support Network, Inc., and the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines.

These objects on exhibit were acquired in the late 1970s by teams led by Dr. F. L. Jocano, and by the faculty and staff of then Philippine Center for Advanced Studies (PCAS). The collection is under the custody of the Asian Center and is housed within its premises. Most of the objects currently on display are being exhibited for the first time. Some, if not most, of these objects are no longer produced by the crafts-making communities where these originated from.

This exhibition was made possible by the efforts of the United Nations Information Centre, Manlilikha Artisans’ Support Network, Inc., and the UP Asian Center. The exhibition was curated by Carmita Eliza J. Icasiano and designed by Michael J. M. Muñoz. 

- Exhibition Note August 2007