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Anthropologists have long been fascinated by the Philippines because of the concentration in a small area of many different kinds and levels of tradition and external influence. Situated both on the cultural boundary between Asian and Oceanic peoples, and the physical boundary between Asiatic and Australian continental masses, the archipelago provides a veritable laboratory in which theories involving migration, diffusion, independent invention, and cultural materialism can be investigated. Of course, one does not have to have a pet theory to enjoy the wide diversity of lifestyles and material culture on the islands!

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