Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Fact Friday: St. Louis World's Fair

Often being taught in text books as a place where great inventions were revealed, the World's Fair came around at a time that the United States was rapidly expanding and acquiring territories and the Philippines was one of them.  Untold in text books though is that through these new territorial acquisitions, the United States created a "human zoo", an exhibit "showcasing" the people they "recruited" from these areas.

Over 1000 Pilipin@s, mostly from the indigenous tribes, showing the spectrum of Pilipin@s from "uncivilized" to "civilized".  The Igorots were a top attraction due to being labelled as dog eaters and being provided dogs to eat.  They performed their sacred songs and dances daily, reducing their meaning to nothing but entertainment for white masses.  They were giving their own Igorot "villages" to showcase how "primitive" they are.  Overall, the effect of the exhibit was to make the viewer feel superior to the "uncivilized" savage, showing the world their need for benevolent assimilation.

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