University of Michigan donates Ifugao manuscripts and photos to IFSU to help preserve cultural heritage

University of Michigan donates Ifugao manuscripts and photos to IFSU to help preserve cultural heritage A team of cultural heritage advocates from the University of Michigan (UM) visited the Ifugao Rice Cultural Museum (IRCM) of Ifugao State University (IFSU) and turned over digitized and selected printed copies of manuscripts and photographs of the Ifugao community from the Bentley Library and UMMAA collections through their ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections Program on August 15, 2023.

The visit was coordinated by Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores of the University of the Philippines, Baguio. With her was the UM delegation led by Dr. Alexis Antracoli, Director for the UM Bentley Historical Library; Dr. Ricky Punzalan, Director for the Museum Studies Program; Dr. Deirdre Dela Cruz, Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History; Ms. Jim Moss, Collections Manager of Anthropological Archaeology; Ms. Diana Bachman, Assistant Director for Researcher Services at the Bentley Historical Library; Mr. Orlando de Guzman, a Journalist and Peabody and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and freelance cameraperson; and Dr. Jesse Johnston, Assistant Professor at the School of Information.

The team was greeted by a cultural dance performed by the Cultural Theater Arts Group, led by Director Lalie Vic Cawilan from the Department of Culture and the Arts.

Dr. Liza M. Tamargo, Director for Library Services and IRCM overseer, warmly welcomed the team and expressed gratitude for choosing IFSU as one of their destinations. "Your visit is very timely and relevant as we keep on improving and updating our social media platforms to cater to the needs and demands of today’s digitized generation, especially our students," said Dr. Tamargo.

Dr. Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon, University President represented by Dr. Mary P. Caclini, expressed enthusiasm, stating the Ifugao Rice Cultural Museum is a testament to the rich history and agricultural heritage and dedication of the Ifugao people in preserving their cultural heritage. "I hope that your visit here at IFSU will illuminate exciting avenues for knowledge sharing and collaborative efforts that could benefit both our institutions and contribute to global cultural understanding," enthused Dr. Caclini.

An overview of Ifugao culture and practices was shared by Director Jude C. Baggo from the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Center. "Historically, the life of an Ifugao revolved around the rice cycle, from land preparation to post-harvest rituals and activities. Important notions, principles, and ways of living emerge as a result of this cycle. Among these activities include "living in harmony with nature," "maintaining ecosystem balance," and "creating a strong social foundation," added Director Baggo.

"IFSU hopes to forge more international partnerships that will blossom into innovative initiatives that celebrate diversity, promote learning, and contribute to the global academic landscape," said Mx. Clyde B. Pumihic, International Relations Officer.

Ms. Edna K. Butticon, Museum-in-Charge, gave an in-depth tour of the museum's collections that showcased an array of artifacts, exhibits, and insights into the intricate rice terraces that have been tended to for generations. "I thank the UM delegation for visiting, as this sparked a significant step towards fostering collaborations rooted in cultural appreciation and academic advancement," said Ms. Butticon.