banner of electronic resources

The colonizing hagiography of the tasaday : a study of colonization, hierarchy, and negation in culture (philippines, the philippines)

Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Author Arenas, David Botter.
ISBN/ISSN 0493456716
Broad Subject Religion
Summary The Tasaday were a Southern Philippine tribal group whose discovery was announced to the media in the early 1970's. In the mid 1980's, after the fall of the Marcos regime, some members within media and anthropology expressed doubts regarding the veracity of the Tasaday, claiming that they were a hoax designed to advance politicalinterests. Using a critique of colonizing hagiography as a method, this dissertation asserts that the study of the Tasaday should not be limited to the parameters of the debate regarding the veracity of the Tasaday and the political motives underlying either side of thedebate. The Tasaday are also part of an historical tradition of colonizing hagiography, wherein the representation of the Filipino people is constructed in such a way as to give a redemptive subjectivity to structures of power governing the Philippines. Whether real or hoax, the representation and analysis of the Tasaday exemplifies a colonizing hagiography in that the redemption of the Tasaday is seen by anthropological and missionary discourses as occurring through the agency of those historical forces and an ideology of whiteness which had colonized and suppressed the Filipino people in the first place.

The history of colonization by both the Spanish and the US is examined in terms of a critical understanding of how this history and Filipino resistance is erased and how this erasure is reproduced within Tasaday studies. Western colonization superimposed a messianic history upon the Philippines, wherein the redemption of the Filipinos is premised upon their service to the colonizers. In the case of the Tasaday, the arguments for their veracity parallels the arguments made during martial law for the need of Filipinos to serve a martial law regime, US hegemony, and multinational capital. In the aftermath of martial law and the loss of interest in the Tasaday, such arguments are still made to justify the exportation of Filipino labor abroad, Filipino dependency upon multinational capital, and the continued repressiveness of the US supported Filipino state.

Language English
Warning: Use of the files is restricted to purposes of research and education only. Other uses and excessive downloading are strictly prohibited. Violators will lose library privileges, face disciplinary actions and may be prosecuted.
Available at :
Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Authorized remote access from Current HKU staff and students
Format E-theses
Location Web Mounted


* Tips on accessing HKUL E-resources