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Anthropology student to speak at Field Museum

October 18, 2013
Anthonie Tumpag

Anthonie Tumpag

Anthropology graduate student Anthonie Tumpag is one of several guests invited to speak Monday, Oct. 28, when the Chicago Field Museum kicks off the 10,000 Kwentos project.

Opening ceremonies are planned from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 400 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Tumpag and the others enjoyed a rare tour earlier this month of the collection of 10,000 largely pre-colonial and Muslim artifacts from the Philippines.

Most of the artifacts, which were collected during the early 1900s and the 1899-1902 Philippine-American War, have been in the museum’s vaults in storage for years, Tumpag said.

Because the origin and use of the artifacts have not been well-researched, the museum is seeking to involve the Chicago Filipino community in gathering more information (including stories or kwentos) about the objects. Most of the pieces were gathered in funded expeditions between 1907 and 1910; the rest were donated by American soldiers serving in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War.

10,000 Kwentos logoAnthropologist Fay-Cooper Cole, for whom both the collection and NIU’s Cole Hall, is named, and others were the primary scientists involved in amassing the collection.

Tumpag, who came to NIU to study cultural anthropology in 2012 from Middle Tennessee State University and has shown his own collection of Southeast Asian artifacts twice at NIU, has been asked to speak about discovering his own Filipino-American heritage through the experience of collecting artifacts.

Touring the collection was powerful, Tumpag said.

“(It was) a surreal moment where each person seemed to have their own personal, tangible connection with their past,” he said. “For me it was an emotional and powerfully uplifting experience that I will always remember and draw strength from.”

For more information on 10,000 Kwentos, email [email protected].