Animals and their histories outside of Europe and its off-shoot settler societies are effectively unknown except as far they constitute a source of exotic species with which to stock the cages of western zoos or to provide hapless victims to the rifles of imperial sportsmen. This paper is an attempt to redress this situation through an examination of the horse in the Philippines around the turn of the twentieth century. The horse's experience is reviewed from three standpoints: that of "activity" or what actually happened to it; that of "adaptability" or the way it changed in relation to events; and that of "agency" or the degree of influence it exerted on its surroundings. By affirming each of these factors to some extent, the horse in the Philippines (and by extension all animals in the non-western world) is shown to be not simply bestia incognita, an unknown brute without a past, but a significant actor in the history of its environment.
|Author Address||School of Asian Studies, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.email@example.com@nias.knaw.nl|
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