From The Archives
Mentrida records the Visayan term for “fierro” or iron as PUTHAO or its variant spelling POTHAO. He specifies that this is “fierro por labran” or iron for working. Some scholars have pointed out the Chinese origin of this native term. Mentrida also includes the use of the term for “soil with iron content” as in “puthaonon na duta.” Other uses of the word in Mentrida’s lexicon seem more metaphorical – for example that of a person with iron content (puthaonon nga tao). Aside from Puthao, there are various terms recorded for bladed weapons that would have had some iron content. CAMPILAN for example is recorded as a term already in use in the Visayas from the time Mentrida assembled the lexicon. ( ca 1628)
In this video, Marian Pastor Roces looks at early archival records that point to the manufacture and use of iron in 17th century Visayas.
Marian Pastor Roces is an independent curator and critic working from her base in Manila, Philippines, from where she takes up global art and culture circuits as a critic of institutions. Published internationally — notably, her critique of the global biennales, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (2000) and by Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2006)— she enjoys an engaged global readership. In 1995, Pastor Roces founded TAO INC, the Philippines’ pioneering and only museum and exhibition development corporation. TAO INC curated the establishment of many of the Philippines’ significant museums over the past two decades, including the Yuchengco Museum, Museo Marino to the Filipino seafarer, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) of the College of St. Benilde.
Art and Practice
In a series of video clips, Jake Napoles introduces the art of making the Sansibar in Carigara Leyte. The video looks at the making of the bladed weapons, from its forging to its assembly – including the carving of the tenegre hilt. The video also features Panday Mario, a virtouso iron smithy in his workshop in Carigara.