‘Paghahanap kay Maura’: The Washington Post releases first-ever story in Filipino

‘Paghahanap kay Maura’: The Washington Post releases first-ever story in Filipino
The Washington Post
Michelle De Pacina
August 18, 2023
The Washington Post released its first-ever story in Filipino, debunking the life of a teenage girl who was chosen to be put on display at the infamous St. Louis World’s Fair.
About the story: On Wednesday, the Post published “Paghahanap kay Maura (Searching for Maura),” an illustrated report by writers Claire Healy, Nicole Dungca and illustrator Ren Galeno. The report follows the true story of Maura, a teenage girl from the Philippines who went to the United States to be put on display at the largest “human zoo” in world history in 1904. The St. Louis facility contained indigenous people who were converted into attractions. 
About Maura: Maura, who died of pneumonia a few days before the St. Louis exposition opened, was part of an indigenous Igorot group from the Cordillera mountains. The Igorot village was reportedly one of the most popular exhibits at the St. Louis World’s Fair; in it, tribesmen were forced to eat dogs every day, even though they only performed this practice on rare occasions in the Philippines. This is said to be where the stereotype of Filipinos as dog eaters originated.
Collecting Maura’s brain: The report includes information about the research of Czech anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka, who scavenged thousands of body parts and organs, including brains, for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) for around 40 years. Hrdlicka’s “racial brain collection” includes some of the 1,200 Filipinos from different islands of the Philippines who were part of the 1904 exhibit, one of which likely belonged to Maura.
There are reportedly 255 brains stored at the Smithsonian NMNH from people of different countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan.
Returning the Filipino remains: On Tuesday, Hrdlicka’s findings were published in an investigative report by the Post titled “The Smithsonian’s ‘Bone Doctor’ Scavenged Thousands of Body Parts.” Following this report, the Smithsonian is now coordinating with Philippine authorities, including the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), to repatriate the Filipino remains.
“In adherence with today’s standards of ethical museum practice, the NMP accepts and supports this effort of the Smithsonian NMNH to do the right thing and facilitate the Filipino remains home as a way of rectifying this unfortunate situation,” the organization said.

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