By Saul Hofileña Jr.
WHEN you enter Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, you will be welcomed
by a regally seated golden goddess. The statue, which is a 3-feet tall
enlarged replica of the real "Butuan goddess," is an 18-karat gold
figure supposedly found by a Manobo woman by the Wawa River. Some people
call the goddess "The Golden Tara," "The Agusan Gold Image" or simply
"The Agusan Image." The original is in the Chicago Field Museum of
It was found in 1917, in Esperanza, Agusan, after
heavy flooding of the eponymous river, according to the "CCP
Encyclopedia of Philippine Art," citing the American anthropologist
Otley Beyer. In 1920, Dr. F.D.K. Bosch of Batavia (now Jakarta in
Indonesia) concluded that it was made by local goldsmiths. In 1963, the
historian Juan Francisco theorized that it is the figure of an
Indo-Javanese queen or a tara. An Indian scholar once stated that it is a
goddess. I do not want to be embroiled in a naming controversy. Tara,
image or goddess, just allow me to refer to it as the Butuan goddess, to
add romance and mystery to the image.
Article taken from manilatimes.net: https://www.manilatimes.net/2023/06/10/opinion/columns/the-butuan-goddess-how-to-get-her-back/1895368
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