Archival Photograph(s)

An “Insular” Introspective On Memory & Cross-Cultural Exchanges

The photograph seen here is of the Insular Ice and Cold Storage Plant during its final stages of completion located in Ermita, Manila, Philippines. Inspired by one of Mesha Murali and Surajit Sarkar's accession cards for the Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK)'s Delhi Memory Archive (see related links for the original accession card), I felt inspired to look towards some old photgraphs of Manila from the American colonial period to find some of, what they refered to as "the relational and intangible aspects of the everyday urban experience". This is one such photograph. 

Readjusting the focus: Exercising agency through the Ballangbang cultural dance

In this photograph from the Missouri Historical Society archive, titled by author Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942) as “As God made them… Pierre Chouteau”, it depicts 4 Bontoc Igorot (an ethnolinguistic group of indigenous Filipinos from the Cordillera region of the Philippines) boys as they dance what is most likely the Ballangbang, a cultural dance performed during mass celebrations and social gatherings.

Readjusting the focus: Who was the other participant involved in the cakewalk dance?

Attached here is an archival photograph from the Missouri Historical Society of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, specifically of indigenous Filipinos from the Cordillera region of northern Luzon known as the Igorots. Titled by American photographer Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942) as “Mrs. Wilkins teaching an Igorrote boy the cakewalk at the 1904 World’s Fair,the photographs presents two people in the image, the eponymous young Igorot boy dancing with Vienna opera singer Mrs. George S. Wilkins, as she teaches him the cakewalk, a popular dance of the time period.

Readjusting the focus: savagery or communal ritual?

In 1904, the United States introduced Filipino culture to the American public with their Philippine Exposition at the St. Louis World’s Fair, a faux recreation of indigenous Filipino villages located at the outskirts of the exhibition fairgrounds and populated with various indigenous Filipino tribes from across its various islands, the most well-known being of the Ifugao people of northern Luzon, referred to at the time as Igorots (Taft, 1904, 29-30).

Subscribe to RSS - Archival Photograph(s)