Gifting, Selling, and Bartering: Social Dynamics and Pottery Economics in Bohol, Central Visayas, Philippines

University of the Philippines, Philippines

This ethnoarchaeological study looks into the production and distribution of pottery in Bohol, Central Visayas, Philippines. Traditional pottery is still created in Bohol, specifically in Talibon's Bagacay, Calape's Binogawan, Valencia's Canduao Occidental, and Alburquerque's East Poblacion. In all of Bohol's pottery villages, ceramics are handcrafted. Boholano potters use only mats, woodblocks, banana leaves, broken pots for rotational devices and potholders, small bottles for burnishing, fishnets and dried banana leaves for polishing, and wet cloth, wooden paddles, bamboo sticks, and stone anvils for shaping. They don't use a potter's wheel or molds to manufacture their ceramic vessels. Clay and temper are mixed by hand with the assistance of their feet. Only locally available fuel such as coconut leaves, stems, nuts, rice hay, and wood are used to open-fire the pots at an empty spot in their backyard or hamlet. They don't fire their ceramics in a kiln. This research will mainly examine the various distribution and marketing strategies used by Boholano potters. Gifting, kumprahan (pottery reselling), suki system (selling to regular customers), taboan (market day selling), suroy suroy (itinerant vending), and baylo (bartering) are only a few of the unique techniques of marketing and distributing their crafts among pottery users and consumers that will be discussed in this study. Furthermore, the fundamental social dynamics that happened during these transactions will be examined to better understand how people manufactured, gifted, and exchanged pots in the past.