The Archaeology of Pericolonialism: Responses of the “Unconquered” to Spanish Conquest and Colonialism in Ifugao, Philippines

  • Stephen Acabado


Pericolonial archaeology investigates areas where European military conquests were unsuccessful, but were economically and politically affected by conquests and subsequent colonial activities in adjacent regions. By using a case study from the Philippines, this article focuses on the responses of indigenous peoples in the highland Philippines who appear to have resisted Spanish cooptation. The archaeological record suggests that economic and political intensification occurred in Ifugao coinciding with the appearance of the Spanish in the northern Philippines. This work on pericolonial archaeology shows that the effects of colonialism extended far beyond the areas actually colonized. More importantly, the investigations reported in this essay add to the increasing evidence of the false differentiation of the colonized and the “uncolonized.”


Pericolonialism Iberian colonialism Philippines Ifugao Political consolidation 



Funding for research reported in this study was provided by the National Science Foundation (Award # 1460665 and BSC07-04008), National Geographic Society (NGS-9069), Hellman Fellowship, UCLA’s COR and FCDA Grants, Institute for Field Research, and National Museum of the Philippines Grant-in-Aid of Research. I am indebted to Oona Paredes for introducing me to the concept of Pericolonialism. Greg Schachner, Miriam Stark, John Peterson, John Papadopoulos, Bion Griffin, Oona Paredes, James Bayman, Marlon Martin, Grace Barretto-Tesoro, Alan Farahani, Mauricio Hernandez, Alison Carter, Lon Bulgrin, Adam Lauer, and two peer reviewers provided insightful comments. I alone am responsible for the final product and take responsibility for any errors of fact or interpretation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of California-Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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