Before Eating : Rice Measure
This saropan/gantang (measuring cup) was thought to have been made by the Maranao people of the Lake Lanao region of Mindanao Island in the Philippines. This object was used to measure dry rice. Rice is the staple food of the Maranao. Three cups are equivalent to one ganta. Twenty five cups are equivalent to one cavan. However, this measuring system is no longer in use. Typically, between two and twenty Maranao families live in the same house. There are no partitions, but each family has its own separate sleeping area. A communal kitchen is located in the rear of the dwelling. This rice measure was probably used during the preparation of communal meals. The key motif that is etched near the handle could be a carver’s identification since no other carvings appear on the rice measure. Typical Maranao work includes decorations with alternate geometric and curvilinear designs around the body.