Philippines The 17th to 19th Century Maranao Manuscript Collections

This project, proposed by the Grupo Kalinangan Inc., aims to save the Maranao Manuscripts of the region of Lanao, Philippines. The Maranao Manuscripts, mostly still owned by the local families, tell the history of the local families and clans of the Maranao people. They are an important account of their culture and religion.

These manuscripts are currently in great danger, as the city of Marawi and other villages in the region were invaded in May 2017 by armed militias of Islamic extremists, fighting under the banner of IS, with the objective to establish an Islamic Caliphate in South East Asia. During the five months of fighting between the Islamists and Government forces, many of the manuscripts and places where they were stored were destroyed. Hundreds of families have fled their homes, leaving their manuscript collections behind, exposed to the elements, fires and mass looting. The existence of many of these collections have remained unknown until recently. To safe the Maranao Manuscripts from being lost forever, this project locates the manuscripts and takes them to the digital lab (FabLab) of the Institute of Technology of the University of Mindanao State University for preliminary treatment and digitalization. The digital versions of the manuscripts will be distributed to museums, libraries and other educational institutions. After digitalization and treatment, all manuscripts will be safely returned to the family owners.


Image copyright: Conservartecuador

Project Details


Location: Philippines, South-Eastern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Grupo Kalinangan Inc. (GKI) Funder(s): Whiting Foundation, Prince Clause Fund - Cultural Emergency Response (CER) Funding received: €18,862.00 Commencement Date: 01/2018 Project Status: Completed
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