Bagobo Shield [Object of the Day #123]


December 4, 2012


A dress shield, carried at festivals by Bagobo men of southern Mindanao, in the Philippines.  At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904 men from the Bagobo village staged daily “shield dances” in which they carried shields like this one.  Among the visitors to the fair who saw the dances were two sisters from Worcester, Massachusetts named Sarah and Elizabeth Metcalf.  The Metcalfs were so taken with the Bagobo they met in St. Louis that they moved to Mindanao and, between 1906 and 1910, amassed a large collection of textiles and other artifacts.  This shield is one of over a thousand Bagobo objects purchased from the Metcalf sisters by the Penn Museum.

Penn Museum Object #P2977B
See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database