Localizing the Narrative of Spanish Colonization in the Philippines

Author(s): Mikhail Echavarri; Stephen Acabado

Year: 2018


The Spanish conquest of the Philippines consolidated the islands into a single political entity and subjected its diverse peoples to homogenizing colonial policies. However, indigenous responses to conquest were wide-ranging, which depended on the political and economic conditions of particular regions. To determine local patterns of responses to conquest, the Ifugao Archaeological Project (IAP) and the Bicol Archaeological Project (BAP) are working to produce localized archaeologies and histories to construct a Philippine-wide archaeology of colonialism. The IAP refutes dominant historical narratives surrounding the antiquity and nature of the highland Ifugao and their rice terraces. Rather than a people isolated from time and conquest, the IAP findings show that the Ifugao mobilized behind a concerted economic, political, and environmental restructuring as a pericolonial response to Spanish activities in the lowlands. In a similar vein, the BAP revisits historical narratives concerning the conquest of lowland Filipino groups. Informed by our work in the highlands, these archaeological investigations explore the under-documented indigenous experience surrounding Philippine-Hispanic churches and the early introduction of Spanish Catholicism.

Cite this Record

Localizing the Narrative of Spanish Colonization in the Philippines. Mikhail Echavarri, Stephen Acabado. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443748)

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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): 20390