Carved wooden spoon with shell inlay. Mid-19th century. Hapao, Ifugao Province, Luzon, Philippines. Asian Ethnology, Beal-Steere Collection. UMMAA 8280. [Note: the number on the object is Steere’s field number.]

This wooden rice spoon in the shape of an animal was collected in the mountainous Cordillera region of Ifugao Province, Northern Luzon, the Philippines by Joseph Beal Steere during his 1870–1875 expedition. The Ifugao region is renowned for its spectacular terraced rice fields and for elaborate carved wooden objects, which are made for domestic use and sale. Carved Ifugao sculptures include rice guardian figures (Bulul) and household implements, especially bowls and spoons. The Museum has a number of Ifugao wooden objects in its collections, acquired over more than a century of U-M research in the Philippines. The carved handles on Ifugao wooden spoons most often take the form of humans or guardian figures; this animal form with its inlaid shell eyes is unusual. This spoon will be on display at the Kelsey Museum’s Excavating Archaeology @ U-M exhibition, October 18, 2017–May 27, 2018.

Back to Day 50 or continue to Day 52.

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.