Universal Science, Local Authenticity, and Political Critique
This chapter begins by showing how folklore was used to theorize the pre-Hispanic unity of different peoples of the Philippines. At the same time, the nature of folklore’s data—the contemporary practices of people—lent it to social and political criticism, and so the chapter reads specific sections of folkloric writings for their critical qualities. It argues that the folklore writings of the Philippines followed relatively closely, and even could be considered part of, Spanish folklore, though this could signify a challenge to Spanish authority as much as recognition of it. Finally, the chapter considers the authorial voices of Filipino folklorists, and how they navigated between an intimate relationship with their subjects and the distant and objective voice of the scientist or documentarian.
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