Care & Resistance: A Case Study on the Philippine Revolution, from Spanish to American Colonization

Care and Resistance is a survey of the Hearst’s archival artifacts collected by Roy Franklin Barton from the years following the United States’ acquisition of the Philippines, and the Philippine resistance to colonization.

Treaty of Paris 1898 and the Philippine-American War

     In 1898, the Treaty of Paris settled the war between Spain and the United States. As a result of this Treaty, Spain ceded Puerto Rico and Guam and sold the Philippines for $20,000,000. The expansion of US territory beyond its coasts is a realization of Manifest Destiny and perhaps the establishment of the US as a superpower. The American government, media, and academia formulated the narrative of the American savior through modernization and westernization, which is ultimately false and harmful to Pilipinos. It erases the atrocities the US did to the Philippines among its other colonies.

Diversity in the Philippines

     During the Spanish and later American era of colonization thousands of tribes were nationalized into the Pilipinos. While it has existed for centuries, it is crucial to recognize that the Philippines is not a monolith. Instead, we must keep in mind the diversity within its 7 107 islands: geography to physical appearances, cultures, languages, and lived experiences. The collective mainstream understanding and teachings of Pilipino history are not representative of all history, especially Indigenous Peoples’ history.

P vs. F, O vs. X

     This exhibit refers to the inhabitants of the Philippines as “Pilipinos,” as opposed to the more familiar terms in the West and the diaspora, “Filipinos,” “Filipinx,” or “Pilipinx.” It is with great intention that we refer to people residing in the mainland, whose national language does not use the letters F or X and consider “Pilipino” as gender-neutral and all-inclusive.

Roy Franklin Barton

     Roy Franklin Barton (1883-1947) was a school teacher whose work became the basis of Pilipino anthropology. He conducted extensive research on Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. He was known for his study on the Ifugao and Kalinga people of the Cordillera and Mountain Provinces region, located north of Luzon. Most, if not all, of the objects found in this exhibit, are from his collection. Barton donated most of his collection to the Hearst Museum in 1918. The rest are in the Guggenheim Institute and the University of Pennsylvania.

     During his time in the Philippines, Barton wrote the books The Half-Way Sun, Ifugao Law, Kalinga Customs, and Ifugao Mythology, to name a few, which details his learnings about the Cordillera natives’ cultures and customs. Barton was one of the first Americans to give a thorough description of the Pilipino people, and his findings were the canon of Filipino ethnographic study.

Beyond Barton

     While Barton is the primary collector and photographer of the objects presented, this collection has no intention of centering him nor his monolithic accounts on Pilipino culture. Instead, we intend to use the objects and photographs he obtained to deepen our understanding of the Philippines’ sociopolitical climate in the early 1900s. Although his collections show the Philippines from a Western voyeuristic perspective, his collections were the only ones readily available to access this exhibit. His collections were the only ones that were readily available for us to access for this exhibit. With this in mind, we would also like to recognize the labor and contributions of unnamed Pilipino individuals and groups whose contributions made Barton’s and our projects possible.

     In the article “Archives of the new possession: Spanish colonial records and the American creation of a ‘national’ archives for the Philippines,” Punzalan discusses the idea of care imposed by the Spanish and American colonial governments through collections of archives and nationalizing/centralizing documents that they forced on Pilipinos. This creation of national archives is one of many examples of salvage anthropology in the Philippines: collecting and recording of identities and everyday practices with no real purpose or benefit for the everyday Pilipino person, all under the guise of care.

     However, as you will see in this exhibit, caring extends beyond documentation and “salvaging whatever is left.” Instead, by centering and bringing to life Indigenous experiences, this will show you how Pilipinos preserved their cultures- many of which are still well alive to this day. Through this, we hope to deconstruct the mainstream neutral and monolithic understanding of Pilipino history. We also hope to present an alternative and more perspective on the Pilipino people: one that shows them not as passive participants to colonization but instead- as active resistors and protectors of their communities, whether on the battlefield or in everyday life.


     While this exhibit focuses on care and resistance, it is crucial to acknowledge the underlying paradox of examining a museum archive to find objects of resistance. Each photograph, basket, or other artifact within the catalogue continues to inflict colonial harm. Many object labels, for instance, arbitrarily group different native communities into the monolithic “Philippines” category or include blatantly racist descriptions. Moreover, photography as an inherently voyeuristic medium for ethnography underscores the power dynamics present, where the subjects are studied but almost never identified beyond “white” or “native.” The museum’s role as a colonial institution therefore continues to perpetuate anti-indigenous sentiments, intergenerational trauma, and the loss of identities.

     If we are to criticize the system that allowed a school teacher to conduct anthropological and ethnographic studies on indigenous people, we must ask the question: How do we reconstruct relationships between objects and collector? One solution is by focusing on care through mutual aid and community – solidarity, not charity. This exhibit does not attempt to define “care,” but proposes different pathways to achieve this goal.  We must consider who is being cared for, and who is caring. What do they care for? 

     Whether or not it is possible to fully decolonize museums remains in question, but this exhibit hopes to address the curators’ obligation to “care” by illuminating suppressed stories.


Further Readings

  • Punzalan, R. “Archives of the new possession: Spanish colonial records and the American creation of a ‘national’ archives for the Philippines”
  • Lasco, G. “‘Little Brown Brothers’: Height and the Philippine-American Colonial Encounter”
  • Barton, R. “The half-way sun”
  • Barton, R. “Ifugao law”
  • Santiago, F. “Manners of Resistance: Symbolic Defiance of Colonial Authority in Nineteenth Century Philippines”
  • Acabado, S. “The Archeology of Pericolonialism: Responses of the ‘Unconquered’ to Spanish Conquest and Colonialism in Ifugao, Philippines”
  • (Film) “Aguinaldo’s navy
  • (Film) Tarog, J. “Heneral Luna”
  • (Film) Tarog, J. “Goyo”
  • Episode 134 – Philippine Archaeology and the Ifugao Rice Terraces with Stephen Acabado

Rediscovering Ancient Women: Fragments of Their Lives from the Mediterranean Collections at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology

This exhibit draws on the collections of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology and was designed by the students in HIST 103 “Well-behaved Women,” Professor Angelova’s Spring 2021 undergraduate seminar in the History Department. It showcases the centrality of visual and material evidence in reconstructing the lives of ancient Mediterranean women. The images and objects in the exhibit–Greek vases, Etruscan figurines, Greek and Roman coins, an Egyptian funerary portrait, and Egyptian textiles–originate for the most part from burial grounds and votive deposits in Etruria and Egypt. These objects testify to the work and religious roles of ordinary women, the privileges of wealthy matrons in life and death, widespread ideas about femininity, the symbolic power of queens and empresses, and to the enduring allure of the female form and face for ancient Mediterranean viewers.

Diliana Angelova, Professor


Too often, our knowledge of ancient women’s lives is obscured by the narratives men spun around them. In classical textual sources, women were either saints or sinners, virgins or whores, paragons of virtue or embodiments of evil. Yet these oversimplified depictions cannot capture the rich complexity of the women behind the texts, nor communicate the depth of their lived experiences. For a glimpse at the reality of ancient women’s lives, we must turn to the material culture they left behind. In the following exhibit, we present evidence of women as they were in their own times: who they were, what they did, how they lived, and how they died.

-Bryn Treloar-Ballard, Student

Scroll down to see the 16 featured objects and student perspectives.

Empowering Engaged Thinkers: Student Discovery Stories from the Hearst Museum

Semester after semester, UC Berkeley undergraduates make rich discoveries at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.  Hearst staff and faculty create a multitude of possibilities for students to work closely with the Hearst’s collection of 3.8 million objects.  Whether students are photographing objects, writing theses, guiding gallery visitors, or engaging in another capacity, students frequently remark that their Hearst experience is “once in a lifetime.”

These experiences are crucial to UC Berkeley meeting its goal to “empower engaged thinkers and global citizens to change our world” through facilitating students’ discovery: increasing their curiosity, challenging their assumptions, encouraging them to reach beyond themselves and broaden their perspectives, and inspiring them to take world-changing action.

How can museum objects do this?  Read on, and see what students are discovering at the Hearst and the exciting ideas that have resulted.

With this exhibit, the Hearst is proud to be participating in UC Berkeley’s Light the Way campaign to support undergraduate opportunities and experiences. For more student discovery stories, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Acknowledgments: Thank you to Rebecca Jacobson for interviewing and surveying fellow students about their discovery experiences at the Hearst.

Exploring Objects, Fears, and the Future

How can objects help people address concerns about the future? How have people sought to protect themselves in different times and places? Is there anything that people do that is not based on fear?

These were among the diverse, but closely related, questions that thirteen freshmen weighed as they explored the Hearst Museum’s global collection in a seminar held at the Hearst Museum in the fall of 2018.

One of the students, Noah Hernandez, worked with Hearst staff to search for objects reflecting these questions. The objects he selected reflect different ways in which people have addressed fears and how they have sought to set themselves in good stead to face future uncertainties. Berkeley artist David Garnick photographed each object to reveal the fine detail and create a sense of drama.

Given that these themes relate to countless global issues—climate change and COVID-19 to name just two—we hope this exhibit encourages you to think about how you personally connect to the people who have made and used these objects.

Exhibit Objects

Uncovering Pacific Pasts

On view February 26th – June 21st

A new story is arriving at the Hearst Museum’s Lounge of Wondrous Anthropological discoveries—a gallery that features current stories of how researchers are using Hearst collections to arrive at new understandings of the people of the world. As part of a multinational project called “Uncovering Pacific Pasts,” the Hearst will be exhibiting a selection of pottery fragments created by one of the first peoples to inhabit the Pacific Islands, known as the Lapita culture. Lapita potters decorated the pottery by pressing lined patterns into clay using toothed stamps. The pottery fragments at the Hearst are from Fiji, but similar ones have been found on islands hundreds of miles away, helping to show how people of a single culture started migrating out into the remote Pacific about 3,000 years ago. Matthew Spriggs, Professor of Archaeology at The Australian National University, is currently using these pottery fragments and documentary evidence to shed light on the crucial—and previously overlooked—story of how a Fijian man named Ratu Rabici Vuikadavu Logavatu aided the Berkeley archaeologist Edward Gifford. Over 30 institutions around the world are exhibiting objects as part of the Uncovering Pacific Pasts project led by the ANU.


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Collaborative Weaving Corner

Get your hands on some fabric and join a creative community process.

The people who made the objects in the exhibit Cloth That Stretches used many kinds of tools and methods to create a variety of designs and textures. They also used thoughtful planning and often drew upon inspiration from the world around them. We invite you to experience weaving, an important aspect of many objects in this exhibit.

Southern California fiber artists Heather Hoggan, Connie Rohman, and BetZ Ross developed this interactive installation as an approachable way to understand and experience the weaving process. In their words, “We weave together not just bits of fabric, but a shared vision of a cooperative society, where friendships among a diverse population can flourish, achieving a simple, unitary purpose: the creation of a beautiful object.”

About the Artists

Heather Hoggan is a visual artist active in the yarn bombing community, who loves the flexibility of fabric, felt and yarn. She curated the Fig Knit-On yarn bombing in Highland Park, Los Angeles, and is Master Gardener of the on-going Forest, For the Trees yarn installation.

Fiber artist Connie Rohman creates fabric collage, fiber wall art, and art quilts. She hand-dyes her fabrics, and uses traditional methods to explore abstract shape, line and color. Connie has won numerous awards for her work, and has exhibited internationally and in museums.

BetZ Ross is the nom de guerre of a well-known Los Angeles painter who has been energized by the looming End of the World to use the womanly arts of weaving and embroidery to mock the current administration, call out the patriarchy, and, as with the present project, promote community healing and unification.

Cloth that Stretches: Weaving Community Across Time and Space


Textile makers around the world do more than create vibrant fabrics for innumerable uses. Their creations stretch in countless ways. They reach back in time—reviving old traditions—and forward in time, bringing countless innovations, and fusing cultural traditions. Cloth objects may reflect painful histories and the oppression of colonialism. Artisans therefore weave and stitch fabric that is much more than comfort, protection, and beauty. The textiles and objects in this exhibit, coming from 11 different parts of the world, each testify to the power of cloth.

What is more, our staff selected items that were donated to the museum in the past 10 years. Taken together, they demonstrate the Hearst’s continuing efforts to document and conserve global heritage through material culture.

As you explore the objects and stories in this exhibit, we invite you to consider your own textile stories. What textiles are important to who you are, and how do the fabrics you use relate to global textile dynamics, for better or for worse?


This exhibit was on view February 13th through March 12th, 2020.


Online Exhibit

Didn’t get a chance to visit the exhibit in person?  This guide contains images, stories, and highlighted objects from the collection that were on view.


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Selected Objects

Sacred Deities of Ancient Egypt

Photographs by Jacqueline Thurston

On view in the lobby of Kroeber Hall October 2nd, 2019 – January 8th, 2020. 

The Exhibition:
The photographs in this exhibition have been selected from the book entitled Sacred Deities of Ancient Egypt, featuring writing and photography by Jacqueline Thurston. Many of the photographs in this book have never before been reproduced. As an artist with a background in painting, Thurston photographed the monuments of ancient Egypt from a fresh visual perspective sustained by a sense of wonder. Sacred Deities of Ancient Egypt was published by Fine Arts Press in the spring of 2019. Copies are available in the museum bookstore.

The Journey:
“Visualize, for a moment, the emotional import of my descent into the interior of an ancient
Egyptian tomb, an intruder and an uninvited guest entering a burial space that once held the remains of a king or queen, before the sacrosanct space was breached, its treasures plundered, and the contents of its granite sarcophagus violated. The feeling of this eerie experience was accompanied by the formidable challenges of photographing in claustrophobic subterranean spaces and the solitary nature of my adventure. Working alone, carrying my own equipment, photographing with an unobtrusive handheld camera, without access to a tripod or a flash, a woman in her late sixties to early seventies, a solo traveler in a foreign land, I faced daunting technical challenges.

Sacred Deities of Ancient Egypt began when I was a Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, as a portfolio of interpretive portraits of feminine figures in the pantheon. From the beginning, I found the iconography and mythology of these figures too fascinating to ignore, and I began to write about them. Over time, the imagery and writing unfolded to embrace the complex relationships among the gods and the goddesses. The experience of exploring the dimly lit chambers of cavernous temples and subterranean tombs, many of which were closed to the public, was sobering and inspiring. In pursuit of bringing this creative undertaking to fruition, I made multiple trips to Egypt, including a trip in the immediate aftermath of the Egyptian revolution. As I explored Egypt’s grand temples and descended the narrow passageways of ancient tombs, I fell under the spell of a sacred presence of another era. I am grateful to have had this profound experience and the opportunity to document it in words and images.”

–Jacqueline Thurston

About the Author & Photographer
Jacqueline Thurston, M.A., is an artist, a writer, and Professor Emerita in the Department of Art and Art History at San Jose State University. She is twice the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Photography Grant and is a former Fulbright Scholar to Egypt. Her photographs are in major international and national public collections, including the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the George Eastman Museum of Photography, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The artist wishes to express her appreciation to Rita Lucarelli, Assistant Professor in the
Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley for making the
exhibition possible and to Barbara Wilcox, President of the Berkeley ARCE Chapter for
supporting the exhibition. I am grateful for the skillful curatorial assistance of Katie Fleming and Jessica Moreno. Additional gratitude to Greg Thomas and Aileen Lum for their invaluable support.

The Genesis of Leymusoom

August 5th, 2019 – October 2nd, 2019

On view in the lobby of Kroeber Hall

About this Exhibit

Initiated in 2017 by artist Heesoo Kwon, Leymusoom is an artistic, communal, performative, religious, and anthropological approach to integrating feminist practice into one’s daily life. Conceived of as a religion, Leymusoom seeks to find new ways to create community and understand ritual. This practice was created as a response to her upbringing in a patriarchal, Catholic family in Korea and in part inspired by Korean shamanic practices wherein practitioners, often female, have the power to initiate new shamans who each in turn discover and create their own approach to their religious practice.

This exhibit features pieces created by members of the Leymusoom community over the past year. Joining, practicing and being Leymusoom means converting to feminism from patriarchy and creating and practicing personal/communal feminist rituals. Leymusoom practitioners create their own personal feminist practices and at the same time collectively develop communal rituals. They create books, sculptures, drawings, music and dance as vehicles that make feminism physically present in their daily lives.


About the Artist

Born in South Korea in 1990, Heesoo Kwon studied business at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea and ran a patent business related to menstrual pads. She recently received a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the recipient of a 2018 Cadogan Scholarship Award and was nominated as 2016 Young Korean Artist by CICA museum. Her work has been exhibited widely including SOMArts, Root Division, Embark Gallery, 3rd MINIKINO FILM WEEK, CICA Museum, Feminism Media Artivist Biennale, among others.

Her work as an artist has been heavily informed by the trauma of patriarchal violence in Korean society. OBEY YOUR FATHER. It was a dictum that her grandmother reiterated on a daily basis. She was born in Catholicism and Patriarchy. She believed in FATHER. Kwon converted to Feminism from Patriarchy by inventing a feminist religion. Leymusoom is an Autobiographical Feminist Religion which also refers to its religious community, autonomous practitioners and movement to seek and define self-determining Feminism rooted in one’s history. By Leymusoom, Kwon wants to identify how redefining Patriarchy as religion and converting to Feminism affects believers’ lives and how different cultural/social background affects the way participants react to this project.

The Beauty of Indigenous Power: A Taiwanese Indigenous Poster Competition

The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is pleased to collaborate with the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines in Taipei, Taiwan on this exhibit. These posters feature designs and traditions inspired by the many indigenous peoples of Taiwan.


About the Formosan Aborigines

Taiwan’s indigenous peoples share historical and linguistic origins with Austronesian groups ranging from Taiwan eastward to Easter Island, westward to Madagascar, and from Hawai’i southward to New Zealand.

Starting in the 1980s, the Formosan Aborigines began to demand recognition, rights, and respect. In countless ways, indigenous peoples and scholars have disseminated new understandings about the rich cultures of these peoples. The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines opened on June 9, 1994, as an urban window into these cultures.


Posters to spread cross-cultural understanding

To stimulate new understandings of the diverse peoples of Taiwan, the Shung Ye Museum, in collaboration with the Taiwan Poster Design Association, began organizing a national student poster design competition in 2006. Over the years, the posters have been exhibited in cultural centers, museums, and schools both in Taiwan and abroad. Previous venues have been the National Museum of Ethnology and the Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo, with support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture; and the University of London and the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom.


Over 1,500 entries on “sports and rhythmic beauty”

The posters you see here are based on the theme of “sports and rhythmic beauty,” to complement the 2017 Summer Universiade athletic competition in Taipei. A call for submissions began in September 2017, with a record-breaking 1,500 entries. A panel of experts reviewed the posters and selected 70 for awards, based on the ingenuity and creativity of the designs and the way they connect youth and indigenous culture.


A celebration of the Shung Ye Museum’s 25th anniversary

To spread awareness of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples in Western countries, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines coordinated with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology to exhibit the award-winning works. This exhibit is also a celebration of the Shung Ye Museum’s 25th anniversary. In the words of the Shung Ye Museum’s staff, “We sincerely welcome everyone to visit this exhibition and to admire these outstanding graphic designs that are expressions of movement and the beautiful rhythms of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.”


About the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

In 1985, Mr. Safe C.F. Lin, Chairman of the Shung Ye Group, established the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines under the N.W. Lin Foundation for Culture and Education, named after the founder of the Shung Ye Company. When the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines officially opened in June 1994, Chairman Lin donated his personal collection of indigenous Taiwanese objects, which he had amassed over 20 years. From Mr. Lin’s initial collection, the museum began to work on field studies and research projects and continued to collect indigenous objects, including purchases abroad and donations by others interested in indigenous culture. Today, it cares for a collection of over 2,000 items. In 2015, Dr. Kristin C.C. Lin, Mr. Lin’s daughter, succeeded him as the Chairperson of the N.W. Lin Foundation. For 25 years, the museum has been a hub for research, scholarship, and collaborations with Taiwan’s indigenous cultures.