VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Armour
1639
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

It has an excellent decorative aspect and there are few objects such as this one that remain so well preserved in other collections.

History of the Object
Among the population groups from the southern islands, generically named Moors, a defense element of clearly Spanish origin was used: the armor, which served as protection for the upper part of the body. This kind of defensive weapon was exclusive to these groups of Moors as it was not found among any of the other Philippino groups. This armor known as kurab-a-kulang is made of a thin layer of carabao horn, joined with a brass netting fabric. The front part is closed with silver wrought hooks, material which is also found in decorative elements in other parts of the armor. It was native artisans who copied these coats of armor, which were captured from the Spaniards. They were made with materials from their own environment, such as the carabao horn. On ornaments of wrought silver, they capture the curved decorative motifs distinctive of the ukkil: scroll work, leaves, climbing plants, etc., although the links of the chains were known in the islands since the 10th century. The same kind of armor was found there as well, but with thin layers of brass for protection.

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Type
Weaponry 
Materials
brass, carabao horn (Philippine buffalo), silver 
Measurements
Height 79 cm. Length 69 cm.  
Creator name
Grupo Maranao 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Philippines; Mindanao; Lanao del Sur 
Geography
Philippines 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th Century 
Function
Used in combat for body defense 
Acquisition
In 1887, a monographic exhibition about the Philippines took place in Madrid with the objective of showing the natural products of those islands, as well as its industry and crafts. It was thought that this would help support trade between those remote lands and the metropolis. Then, an important collection of products and objects belonging to the various groups who inhabited the islands were sent to Madrid. This represented their different economic activities, apparel, ornaments, domestic housewares, musical instruments, ritual objects, weapons, etc. When this exhibition was closed, the Library Museum of High Seas (Museo Biblioteca de Ultramar) was created with all of the collections, both objects and bibliographies. In 1908, this museum was closed and the majority of its collections were passed on to become part of the National Museum of Anthropology. 
Copyright
Museo Nacional de Antropología Ministerio de Cultura 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museo Nacional de Antropología Ministerio de Cultura 
Museum
National Museum of Anthropology 
Credit line
 

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