Ethnohistorical Archaeology, GIS Analysis, and Satellite Remote Sensing of Five Gold Networks in Luzon
Canilao, Michael Armand P.
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The dissertation provides a “bottom up” view of culturally- contingent, historically- situated engagement by local Northwestern Luzon island gold miners and traders as a local point of entry into an Indian Ocean - South China Sea (IO-SCS) trade emporium. The dissertation shows how Northwestern Luzon Igorot societies negotiated their peripherality in the expansive porcelain-for-gold exchange system that was creeping into their shores. The research looks at how the Igorot miners practiced their agency through their participation in tabu-tabuans or “evanescent market encounter” at the coastal trading centers. The thesis also explored the role utang na loob or “debt from inside” in the receding agentive positioning of these Igorot gold producers. Five gold trade networks in the Northwestern flank of Luzon Island in the Philippines present varying degrees of commitment to the IO-SCS trade emporium during the Early Historical to Historical period. Some of the networks feature a more evanescent market encounter which allows the miners from the uplands to dictate or strongly negotiate their position in the transaction for gold with the lowland coastal polities. Other networks on the other hand feature the opposite which is a more permanent market in full articulation into the trade network featuring full dependency on the influx of exotic goods from the system specifically prestige goods like export ceramics, trade beads, silks, and others. These findings are based on multiscalar and multidisicplinary analyses using regional GIS data, high-resolution multispectral satellite remote sensed data, ethnographic data, primary and secondary written historical data, archival maps and images, oral tradition data, and archaeological data pertaining to the five networks.