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Navigating the Heritage Studies, October 2023 Cordillera of the Philippines

In October 2023 Dr Merili Metsvahi from the University of Tartu was busy building bridges between the heritage studies of Philippines and Estonia. Seconded to the Ifugao State University in Philippines she held two workshops on the methods of ethnographic fieldwork. Teachers of educational and social sciences and the staff and graduate students of the Center of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS-center) participated in the workshops. Dr Metsvahi shared her years of experience on the documentation of oral history and folklore via interviews and participant observation. Participants already experienced in the fieldwork on local heritage focused on the challenges of a fieldworker on the field and organizing the collected material afterwards. Participants discussed the problems of publishing and the terms of heritage, folklore and tradition. Participants shared how their perspective on the discussed topics broadened and how one’s own oral cultural heritage became of more value. About 200 students and teachers participated at the Research Forum on Folkloric Navigation: Connecting Heritage from Estonia to Cordillera where Regina B. Mendoza, Professor of Social Sciences of IFSU and dr Metsvahi had lectures. Following intense and deep discussions on how to engage youth in folklore and culture appreciation left lecturers and participants impressed. In a community visit Dr Merili had a class for the 6th grade at the Nayon Elementary School cooperating with GIAHS-center. All pupils were engrossed by the Estonian folktale Dr Merili told and were much engaged by riddles. Dr Metsvahi's secondment took her also to visiting the Kalinga Sate University and to discussions of Ifuga State University future planning workshop.

Dr Merili Metsvahi’s secondment to IFSU supports OCSEAN goals in the linguistic studies and provides a deeper undertsanding of the contexts of local populations. It is lead by one of the OCSEAN main goals of exchanging knowledge via training and networking events.



Folkloric Navigation forum.

Dr Metsvahi in the Estonian national costume with Jude C Baggo, IFSU

Workshop in Kalinga


Exit conference. Clyde B. Pumihic, Dr Jude C. Baggo, Dr Adrian L Albano, Dr Merili Metvahi and Dr. Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon, the University President of Ifugao State University


Participants in the Folklore Collection and Curation workshop, IFSU. Photo by IFSU.



Folkloric Navigation forum. Dr Metsvahi is with Dr Regina B. Mendoza, Professor of Social Sciences of IFSU

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