Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Postma Manuscripts

I COMPILED INTO A BIBLIOGRAPHY (in neither the MLA or APA format) all of Antoon Postma's work deposited at the Mangyan Heritage Center library in Calapan, accumulated in his almost six decades of working and living with Mangyans from 1958 to 2016. Aside from the five books and about a dozen journal articles he has seen publication during his lifetime, the bulk of his remaining documents are unpublished manuscripts, many of which one may consider as overlapping and repetitive, but testimony to Postma's accreting and evolving understanding of his subject. I am most interested in information I am yet to discover on subjects like Mangyan reducción efforts by early Spanish missionaries, Mangyan interaction with the American imperial government during the early 20th century, abuses committed against Mangyans by the military and lowland Christians in more recent times, and information of anthropological importance (or curiosity) like the rituals in gathering of honey, boiling water to make salt, removing poisonous substances in wild tubers to make them edible, and so on. I wish Postma had done research on the shore-dwelling Mangyans in Bansud before they were driven inland by Christian settlers from Marinduque (the name of the town came from "basud", Mangyan word for "delta" where they once farmed, fished and flourished before turning to the mountains.) But there is none.

With what is available however, book-worthy nonetheless, I have asked Emily Catapang, Executive Director of MHC, to have their text typed up in a CD and submitted with hard copies to UP Press or Anvil for consideration, and she is open to the idea. To enter Postma's world in Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, click on his photo in Kurt Hoerbst's slideshow.

(by Kurt Hoerbst, 2007)

Postma's 2004 handwritten transcript (first page) of Karyo's account of his travel to America in 1904, as gathered by Fletcher Gardner in 1939 

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