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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

40 studies to be presented in Cordillera conference

FORTY studies will be presented in the second International Conference on Cordillera Studies set on Wednesday, July 12, to Friday, 14.

Organized by the Cordillera Studies Center of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Baguio, the conference, which will be held at the CAP-John Hay Trade and Cultural Center, will have panels with wide-ranging topics and subject matters.

These panels have been organized in parallel breakout sessions during the conference’s three-day duration.

Each panel consists of at least three paper presentations with five panels completing one parallel session. There will be two parallel sessions on the first day of the conference, while the second and third day will have three parallel sessions each.

Topics range from “Representation of the Native in Literature” to “Indigenous Scientific Methods and Practices” as well as studies on specific locales such as “The Indigenous Studying the Indigenous: Focus on Sagada.”

The international nature of the conference drew participants from overseas institutions. The panel “Ifugao Archaeology” will have scholars from the University of California Los Angeles, California State University Northridge, University of Florida and the University of Washington as paper presenters.

The “Ifugao Archaeology” panel also has its local counterparts from the Save the Ifugao Rice Terraces Movement as well as from the UP-Diliman.

The paper “Collaborative and Indigenous Archaeology in the Northern Philippines” has Marlon Martin of the Save the Ifugao Rice Terraces Movement and Francisco Datar of the University of the Philippines Diliman as co-authors with Stephen Acabado of the University of California Los Angeles.

A preview of their paper suggests the inclusion of the voices of different stakeholders in the interpretation of the past is inadequate. They argue the community which they describe as indigenous stakeholders must be included in the research as co-developers and co-investigators and can empower indigenous stakeholders to take control of their heritage.

This is especially important, they said, because “the relationship of archaeologists and communities that they work with has been tenuous, particularly when archaeological findings have the potential to contest ethnic identities.”

Reporting the findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project in their paper, the group suggests that contrary to the age-old belief that the inception of the Ifugao Rice Terraces took place about 2,000 to 3,000 years ago, the group asserts that archaeology suggest a later inception of the terraces, which coincided with the arrival of the Spanish in northern Philippines.

“This finding did not sit well with the larger Ifugao descendant communities,” the group said, adding: “But the pursuit to actively involve the communities and stakeholders in the research process resolved this issue.”

The “Ifugao Archaeology” panel will present their findings on July 12 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. (Roland Rabang)
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