Golden Tara

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The Golden Tara or Agusan artifact, was a 1.79 kilogram, 21 carat Madjapahit period gold image discovered in Esperanza, Agusan in 1918.

H. Otley Beyer believed that the image was that of a Sivaite goddess, but with the religiously important hand signals improperly copied by local workmen. Thus it suggests that Hinduism was already in the Philippines before Ferdinand Magellan arrived, but also suggests that the early Filipinos had an imperfect version of Hinduism which they got from the Madjapahit.

A study of this image was made by Dr. F. D. K. Bosch, of Batavia, in 1920, who came to the conclusion that it was made by local workmen in Mindanao, copying a Ngandjuk image of the early Madjapahit period - except that the local artist overlooked the distinguishing attributes held in the hand. It probably had some connection with the Javanese miners who are known to have been mining gold in the Agusan-Surigao area in the middle or late 14th century. The image is apparently that of a Sivaite goddess, and fits in well with the name "Butuan" (signifying "phallus").

— H. Otley Beyer, 1947[1]

After its discovery in 1918 by a Manobo woman named Bilay Campos, it was purchased by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois in 1922.[2]

See Also


  1. ^ H. Otley Beyer, "Outline Review of Philippine Archaeology by Islands and Provinces," Philippine Journal of Science, Vol.77,Nos.34 (July–August 1947),pp. 205-374
  2. ^ "Agusan Gold Vajralasya". Philippine Heritage Collection. Field Museum of Natural History. 
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