The Euro-American man in this photograph—Dean C. Worcester—was not an anthropologist, but a colonial administrator and businessman. He was also a key figure in the creation of the UMMAA. The Museum curates some 5000 photographs (glass negatives and lantern slides) he created between 1890 and 1913, as well as archaeological and ethnographic objects he collected. As Secretary of Interior of the Philippines when it was a U.S. territory, Worcester launched an extensive project to photograph the archipelago’s indigenous peoples. After he was terminated from this position, he became an avid amateur archaeologist. Worcester encouraged U-M to create the Museum (and Department) of Anthropology and helped fund the U-M Philippine expedition. Worcester was a controversial figure and many of his photographs are disturbing. Nonetheless, the images remain important for scholarship and are used by scholars and community members in the Philippines and around the world.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.