Ancient Tagalog Goldworking Technology from Fray San Buenaventura’s Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala: Integrating Archaeological, Linguistic, and Ethnohistoric Data

Victor Estrella


The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct the methods in the goldworking technology of the Tagalog community based on Fray San Buenaventura’s Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala published in 1613. The study examines  the processes and technical knowledge involved in raw materials procurement, reduction sequences, actual object production, and discard.

The study attempts to present a linguistic account as an aspect of an ethnohistorical study of the ancient Tagalog goldworking tradition. The linguistic account on goldworking processes, techniques, and products could be employed as a possible source for material patterning in the archaeological record, and in analysing ancient gold works and other related artefacts.


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