This text illuminates the oral traditions of the Philippines and the convergence of capitalism and the indigeus spirit world. The author examines the social relations, cultural meanings and political struggles surrounding the rise of sugar haciendas on Negros during the late Spanish colonial period, and their subsequent transformation under the aegis of the American colonial state. Drawing on oral history, interviews and a wide array of sources culled from archives in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Philippines, the author reconstructs the emergence of a sugar-planter class and its strategic maneuvers to attain hegemony. The book portrays local actors taking an active role in shaping the external forces that impinge on their lives. It examines hacienda life from the indigeus perspective of magic and spirit beliefs, reinterpreting several critical phases of Philippine history in the process. By analyzing mythic tales as bearers of historical consciousness, the author explores the complex interactions between local culture, global interventions, and capitalist market forces.
Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr., James Cook University, Australia.