Archaeology Events

2nd SPAFA SESH on Facebook Live and Zoom: Older is not Necessarily Better: The Short History of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, 8 July 2020 at 11 a.m. (MNL time) / 10 a.m. (BKK time)

Date: 8 July 2020

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Manila time); 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Bangkok time)

45-60 min presentation, followed by a 30 min Q & A

Online Platform: Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/seameo.spafa/ and on Zoom (Please register below for Zoom link)

The long-held belief in the age of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, pegged at ca. 2000 years, as proposed by pioneer anthropologists of the Philippines Henry Otley Beyer and Roy F. Barton has become a sort of received wisdom among Filipinos.  It has been taken as a gospel truth, that even the UNESCO enlistment of the agricultural wonders highlights its long history narrative. It is no wonder then, that recent archaeological and ethnohistorical discoveries that suggest a short history origin of the terraces have become an anathema to nationalist sentiments about age of the terraces. In this presentation, we provide the scientific bases for the later dating of the terraces. By doing so, we argue that the shift to wet-rice cultivation (and the inception of rice terracing traditions) in Ifugao, Philippines was a conscious decision by the Ifugao to counter the Spanish conquest. This contention empowers Ifugao communities and forces us to rethink dominant Philippine historical narratives.

Experts:

(1) Marlon Martin, an Ifugao who established the first community-led Ifugao Indigenous Peoples Education Center

(2) Stephen Acabado, associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles and  directs the Bicol and Ifugao Archaeological Projects.

Moderator: Dr Noel Tan, Senior Specialist in Archaeology, SEAMEO SPAFA

[Discussion will be conducted in English]

Marlon Martin

Marlon Martin is an Ifugao who heads a non-profit heritage conservation organization in his home province in Ifugao, Philippines. He actively works with various academic and conservation organizations both locally and internationally in the pursuit of indigenous studies integration and inclusion in the formal school curricula. Along with Acabado, he established the first community-led Ifugao Indigenous Peoples Education Center, the first in the region.

Stephen Acabado

Stephen Acabado is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His archaeological investigations in Ifugao, northern Philippines, have established the recent origins of the Cordillera Rice Terraces, which were once known to be at least 2,000 years old. Dr. Acabado directs the Bicol and Ifugao Archaeological Projects and co-directs the Taiwan Indigenous Landscape and History Project.  He is a strong advocate of an engaged archaeology where descendant communities are involved in the research process.

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