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Philippine Ancestral Gold

Florina H. Capistrano- Baker, John Guy and John Miksic (Editors)

Philippine Ancestral Gold is a spectacular publication in full-color that features more than 1,000 gold objects that were recovered in the Philippines from the 1960s to 1981 and now form part of the collection of the Ayala Museum in Manila. Many of these treasures were found in association with tenth-to-twelfth century Chinese export ceramics, and formal similarities with objects from other Southeast Asian cultures affirm regional affinities and inter-island trade networks that flourished in the region before there was regular contact with the Western world. Adornments of elite individuals and the deities they adored include a spectacular array of golden sashes, necklaces, pectorals, diadems, earrings, finger rings, and arm and leg ornaments.

The book situates these objects within the context of early Southeast Asian history. In the first chapter, Floriana H. Capistrano-Baker outlines the history of the collection and presents an overview of the objects according to over-lapping categories of form, function, technology, and geographic provenance. In the second chapter, John Miksic explains how the collection contributes to a reassessment of the prehistory of Southeast Asia. Miksic notes the persistence of indigenous forms and the localization of imported traditions, and discusses the correlation between burial practices and social organization and suggests that the removal of gold objects from circulation through ritual burial is an indicator of non-hereditary leadership. Chapter 3, John Guy examines the meaning and metamorphosis of forms in comparison with related material recovered in the region. Guy highlights stylistic similarities and differences between the Philippine objects and those from such cultures as Java, Champa, and Borneo. He discusses as well the important role of export ceramics in dating associated gold finds. Chapter 4 describes related finds from the Butuan-Surigao-Agusan region in light of the rise and fall of different polities in Southeast Asia.

This extraordinary collection exists because of the passion and dedication of Leandro and Cecilia Locsin, whose vision of preserving for future generations these marvelous objects provides valuable glimpses into the Philippine precolonial past, and is a remarkable homage to the Filipino people.

«This important book provides a great deal of material that is almost unknown generally outside of the Philippines. Scholars working on many other topics will find it invaluable, especially those tracing the various maritime trade networks that operated throughout the greater Indian Ocean system.»
-Emma C. Bunker,
Asian Art Department, Denver Art Museum
«The authors are among the world's most experienced specialists on this subject, and the line of vision from the Philippines and other parts of island Southeast Asia to the mainland is novel and most inspiring.»
-Andreas Reinecke,
Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures of the German Archaeological Institute
«All collections are valuable in different ways. The monetary worth of this one is incalculable. But its deeper value can be assayed only in consideration of its historical and academic significance and the self-knowledge and pride it gives to Filipinos.»
-Florina H. Capistrano-Baker
«...what distinguishes the Philippines goldworking tradition is that it displays a level sophistication only matched by the kingdoms of Java.»
-John Guy
«The Ayala Museum's Gold Collection is perhaps the country's greatest tangible cultural asset and can stand comparison with any other assemblage of gold artifacts in the world.»
-John Miksic
Florina H. CAPISTRANO-BAKER was former Director of the Ayala Museum in the Philippines.
John GUY is Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
John MIKSIC is Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.

publication year: 2012
300 pages
ISBN: 978-9971-69-562-0  Paperback  US$98.00  S$124.00
ISBN: 978-9971-69-652-8  Hardback  US$125.00  S$150.00

Our edition is available worldwide except in the Philippines.

Winner of the 31st National Book Awards 2012 (Philippines) for Design

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