In the late 1960s, anthropologist Daniel Scheans conducted research on earthenware pottery production and market economies in the Philippines. Through his research, he amassed a sizeable collection of ceramic vessels, pottery-making tools, and raw materials. The UMMAA has the honor of being the recipient of his well-documented collection of more than 350 earthenware ceramic vessels and tools, which represent the diversity of Philippine earthenware production. The jar shown here, which was manufactured in Leyte in the southern Philippines, is adorned with an appliqued dragon that wraps around the vessel body. Glazed “dragon jars” made in China and Vietnam were common shipping containers in pre-modern Asia (see Day 148) and often became valued family heirlooms in the Philippines and Indonesia. This contemporary earthenware variant reveals the continued salience of the dragon jar tradition.
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.