WITH the hopes of strengthening its bid to promote Cordillera culture, Museo Kordilyera, an ethnographic museum, formally opened January 31.

The museum will be known by its integral connection to the scholarly work of the faculty from different colleges of the university and serves as a platform for dialogue with various communities in the wider world through themed exhibition, symposia, lectures, Internet presence, cultural performances, and demonstration of knowledge and skills of local artisans and cultural bearers from Cordillera and ethno-linguistic groups.

“The Museo Kordilyera will serve as a repository of the tangible and intangible heritage of the Cordillera,” said University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos.

The museum will be open to the public where they will view three inaugural exhibits - on tattoos as body archive from the research work of anthropologist Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores; a retrospective of the works of the late anthropologist Jules de Raedt; as well as selected ethnographic photographs by Roland Rabang of the UPB College of Arts and Communication.

The inaugural exhibits were the result of more than a year of curatorial work undertaken by Professor Emeritus Delfin Tolentino, Jr., Prof. Victoria Diaz, archivist Cristina Villanueva and Dr. Salvador-Amores. Curators’ selection of works featured in the museum follows the concept of the ethnographic museum in which it is “distinguished by its integral connection to the scholarly work of the faculty from the different colleges of the University.”

The museum focuses on the collection, preservation and display of objects associated with the unique societies and cultures of the Cordillera region.

Museo Kordilyera is a three-level structure with only its reception level visible on the surface integrated with the university’s terrain and topography for “sustainability and preservation of ecology.”

Most of Museo Kordilyera’s essential facilities are at the second and third ground levels which include a permanent collection and curatorial space for ethnographic materials; a temporary exhibition space for loaned exhibitions and collateral activities by students, faculty and alumni; a visitor’s room for museum orientation purposes; an audio-visual room; and a museum shop and café.

The Museo Kordilyera is part of an infrastructure development plan initiated by Rovillos. This development plan had been approved and funded by the UP system under the administration of university President Alfredo Pascual. (Joy Dawag Calantas/UC Intern)