Panel: Late Spanish Period
Marianas on Display
A Glimpse of the Marianas in Exhibitions in Madrid in the Late 19th Century
By Clark Limtiaco
Abstract: This presentation examines the representation of The Marianas through the numerous contributed objects which made the long voyage to be put on display at cultural and scientific exhibitions held in the Spanish capital city of Madrid. These exhibitions include the “Exposición General de Filipinas (General Exhibition of The Philippines)” in 1887, and the “Exposición HistóricoAmericana (Historical American Exhibition)” in 1892. The exhibitions featured objects and artifacts relating to commerce, gastronomy, agriculture, architecture, geology, botany, anthropology, dress, manual arts, and language. And their written descriptions offer us a partial look into the lives of the Chamorro people during the period prior to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Over a century after Spain's defeat and subsequent loss of the archipelago, The Marianas seems to have been erased from consciousness of the Spanish people. Creating a new dialogue between The Marianas and Spain may facilitate new academic and cultural exchanges, as well as collaborations for future exhibitions.