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The three galleries maintained by the Capitol University Museum here probably hold the most extensive collection of the culture of the Maranao Muslims and indigenous communities in Central Mindanao.

The multimillion-peso museum, the newest of three maintained by universities here, has the Pasaka Maranao Gallery, a collection of brassware, weaponry, ceremonial crafts, jewelry and accessories and musical instruments; the Kasaysayan Gallery, described as a mixed and multi-disciplinary collection of historical and ethnological objects; and the Galerie Rawari, an art gallery.

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The Pasaka Maranao Gallery houses the original collection of Laureana San Pedro Rosales during her “educational apostolate in Mindanao” when she built the network of capitol schools in 1951.

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“That apostolate had served three distinct culture groups of Mindanao well: the Maranao of Marawi City; the migrant lowland cultures of Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City and Bukidnon; and the indigenous peoples of Northern Mindanao,” a museum flyer said.

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The collection in the Maranao gallery includes textiles; artifacts of gold, silver and ivory; a diorama on the lost wax method of Maranao brassware fabrication known as the Cire-Perdue process; and heirlooms of Chinese blue and white wares from the Sung Dynasty.

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Many of the artifacts came from the artisan village of Tugaya along Lake Lanao. 

There is also a tableau scene of the enthronement of a Maranao sultan and the interior of a Maranao torogan, the sultan’s royal house.

The collection “is the most extensive Maranao antiquities collection in the entire Mindanao,” the flyer said.

Guests are cautioned against using flash when taking snapshots of the brasswares due to the light sensitivity of the brass, according to a curator.

The Kasaysayan Gallery houses “rare period photographs of Cagayan de Misamis and Northern Mindanao, dating back from the Hispanic era.” The gallery has a collection of Chinese porcelain and pottery from Butuan City’s archaeological sites.

It also displays pictures in sepia color of old streets and buildings, events and occasions, and includes a replica of an erupting Mount Hibok-Hibok of Camiguin Island. Near it is a picture of a circular mound in Manolo Fortich town of Bukidnon that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology confirmed was a crater of a volcano that erupted in the prehistoric period.

The Galerie Rawari was taken from an ethnic name for a river that traverses the Matigsalog and Manobo communities in southern Bukidnon.

It is a section in the museum allotted to holding art exhibitions from artists outside the school.

Decius Esmedalla, city tourism senior operations officer, said the museum was constructed and maintained by the university.

Two other universities maintain their own museums, including Xavier University and Liceo de Cagayan.

Outside Cagayan de Oro City, the Marawi City campus of the state-owned Mindanao State University has its own Aga Khan Museum.

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