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Dean C. Worcester Photography from the collection of Thomas Murray

Text below from the special exhibition, The Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection University of Michigan, Museum of Anthropology.

"From 1890 until 1913, Dean Conant Worcester (1866-1924) took thousands of photographs of people and places throughout the Philippines. Worcester had first traveled to the region as an undergraduate zoology major in the 1880s on a scientific collecting mission for the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. He returned to the region after he graduated in 1890, this time making zoological collections for the Minnesota Academy of Natural Science. In 1893, Worcester was hired as a lecturer and curator in the University of Michigan Zoology Department and authored a number of scholarly and popular works on the Philippines. When the Philippines came under U.S. control at the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Worcester was recognized as an American expert on the region. He quickly rose to prominence in the colonial government, serving on the first and second Philippine Commissions and then as Secretary of the Interior of the colonial government, a position he held until 1913.

"Worcester’s fascination with the Philippines was coupled with his fascination and commitment to the relatively new technology of photography. During his time in the region, he and his employees in the Interior Department’s "Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes" took thousands of photos. A passionate imperialist, Worcester used many of his photographs in public lectures and popular articles supporting the colonial mission, and America’s responsibilities to "civilize" the tribal peoples of the Philippines. Others sought to be scientific records, framed through troubling 19th century racial classifications and evolutionary paradigms."

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Worcester's (seen in the center of the photo) words for the image below:

Blas Villamor, Bakidan, Saking, and two other brothers of Bakidan, and myself.

There are six brothers in this family and they rule the upper Nabuagan river valley. Bakidan is the most powerful.

Kalingan of Bunuan, Cagayan, 1905