This small cannon comes from the Moro region of the southern Philippines. George M. Chandler (U-M class of 1898) collected it and other traditional Philippine weapons while serving in the U.S. Army as major and quartermaster in the colonial Philippines. This cannon, just over two feet long, is a lantaka. The earliest lantakas were made in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and traded to Southeast Asia by the Dutch East India Company. Later lantakas, such as this one, were produced in Malaysia and the Philippines. This small gun could have been used in a variety of ways, including on small boats (called vintas), in the rigging of larger vessels, or even out in the open. Made of bronze with ornamentation along the bore of the gun, this cannon rests in a small carriage. It is a bronze smoothbore piece, with a touch hole bored into the base of the bore, allowing for priming and firing with quill, linstock, or other methods of ignition.
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.