Using Sacred Landscape Model of Indigenous Cave Use in the Philippines

Author(s): Richard Nicolas

Year: 2018


Caves are natural spaces, but like other natural settings, they can be perceived by people through highly variable cultural lenses. Caves are not generally used as utilitarian spaces, but are more often sacred spaces where rituals are performed. The material record of these subterranean features can provide insights for how past peoples connected to the symbolic landscapes of caves, thus affording opportunities to assess behaviors. Research on the ritual uses of caves is fairly new in the Philippines, but cross-cultural comparison holds much promise. For instance, much research has already been conducted in the ritual use of caves in Maya contexts of Mesoamerica, which can be used as a foundation for approaches in other countries. Using best practices from cross-cultural contexts, this poster provides a preliminary analysis of certain cave sites in the Philippines. The research is based on a combination of recent field surveys and secondary sources, and offers a framework for identifying cave sites as sacred landscapes in order to contribute to ongoing studies of indigenous rituals in the Philippines.

Cite this Record

Using Sacred Landscape Model of Indigenous Cave Use in the Philippines. Richard Nicolas. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443339)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 92.549; min lat: -11.351 ; max long: 141.328; max lat: 27.372 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22610