10,000 Philippine Artifacts at Chicago Museum

I was born in Manila, a bustling city, which is the capital of the Philippine Islands… and I’ve always been a city girl. Growing up in the United States, I’ve lived most of my adult life in large cities — New York, Philadelphia, San Francsico, and Chicago. It wasn’t until my encounter with 100-year-old Philippine artifacts at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, however, did I connect with the indigenous heritage of the Philippines.

The Field Museum in Chicago safeguards more than 10-thousand objects from the Philippines. A community volunteer organization, called 10,000 Kwentos (10,000 Stories), has been slowly attempting to introduce the collection to the public through oral stories. Invited members of the community are asked to participate in discovering, and in telling, of the history behind each object.

Today, volunteers are in the process of cataloging the 10-thousand items. Museum curators hope to finish the task of restoring, and uploading to a website, photographs of the entire Philippine collection by 2016. I’m thinking of becoming a volunteer for the museum. If I do, I look forward to learning the indigenous history of the country of my birth. ✿

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