Ukkil

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Ukkil: Visual Arts of the Sulu Archipelago is a treatise on cultural practices inextricably linked to the political, economic, and social history of the Sulu Archipelago. The author, Ligaya F. Amilbangsa, declares the need for ethnic art forms to be viewed as authentic reflections of social history. Having married into the family of the Sultan of Sulu and lived in southern Philippines for more than two decades, Amilbangsa names objects to record, as it were, the lives of the people with whom she lived. She does not engage in collection and exoticization of artefacts; she engages in recollection. The visual arts of the Sulu Archipelago recall the ancient, pre-Islamic, pre-Christian past of the Hindu-Malayan empire, a time when the Malays of Sulu were acknowledged for superior weaponry and watercraft. Pottery from Sangasanga dated 6060 BC exhibits artistic traditions enriched by the merging of the developed culture of immigrants with that of the indigenous population. A monetary economy, flourishing in the eighth century, made the Sulu Archipelago the wealthiest of settlements in the Philippines by the seventeenth century.

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