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#21618 - 09/06/06 11:14 PM Jade Exhibit at the Museum of Belize
Katie Valk Offline
Great jade exhibit at the Musuem of Belize, the Jade Head excavated at Altun Ha is on display and is stunning. Go.
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#21619 - 09/07/06 12:14 AM Re: Jade Exhibit at the Museum of Belize
Marty Offline
JADES OF BELIZE EXHIBITION UNDERWAY
September 06, 2006

The Jades of Belize, an exhibition showcasing some of Belize's most famous pieces of jade, was opened this morning at the Museum of Belize. Pieces such as funerary jade masks, pendants, necklaces, pectorals, ear flares, and including the renowned Jade Head are being featured. According to Lita Krohn, Director of Houses of Culture, the idea of this exhibition was to expose the pieces of jewelry to the Belizean people.


Lita Krohn,House of Culture

“The Museum of Belize thought that the idea that people in Belize have not really seen the Jade Head in a long time number one, number two we hear of discoveries and archeological excavations, very rarely, except up here at the Museum do you get to see some of these artifacts so we decided that it would be good to have one theme JADE and so we thought, good, let’s put them in one room, and at least it’s not all the pieces, it’s like significant pieces, some are carved, some are planes, some are tubes, some are ear flares. The important thing is for our children and our school kids to see these pieces. They read about it, right now they have the Africa-Maya Project, they see videos but they have never really seen the real thing and so we wanted it to be a booster to our pride and self-esteem but we also want it to be a learning, education tool for students and teachers because they talk about these things but you never really see them.”


The opening of this morning's exhibition at the Museum of Belize was done by Minister of Culture, Mark Espat.


Mark Espat, Minister of Culture

“It’s the first ever Jades exhibition, the objectivity is to display the creativity, the arts and craft exhibition of our ancient Maya, of course the centerpiece is Kinich AHau, the Jade Head discovered at Altun-Ha. We’re pleased that this exhibit is part of the September Celebrations Calendar and we feel it gives a very comprehensive and a very luminating history of Jade and the role it has played over the last four thousand years in the ancient Maya civilizations in Belize. I think the opportunity to view the important pieces but especially the Jade Head is a unique opportunity. Obviously for security reasons it is not something we can display all the times and so as part of the September Celebrations and the 25th Anniversary of Independence we are happy to be able to display it today.”


To the ancient Maya jade was the most prized of all stones. Jade was also treasured by the Maya elite and desired by members of all social classes. The use of jade dates back to the second millennia before Christ, 2000 B - C. Present this morning to assist with archeological background was Director of the Institute of Archeology Jamie Awe. As part of activity this morning a Maya group from Toledo performed the famous Deer Dance that is practiced at this time of the year as a ritual. Lita Krohn tells us that besides the Kinich Ahau being displayed at the museum another remarkable piece of jade was the one found in Cahal Pech.


Lita Krohn,House of Culture

“It’s a little mask and what he has is orange eyebrows, and a tinge of blue lips and it’s very colorful, I love the Cahal Pech piece myself but the Jade head is like pretty important, there are lots of mosaic masks made up of broken pieces of Jade that is very beautiful, pendants, earrings, ear flares.


Lita Krohn, Director of Houses of Culture. The pieces of jade being featured were found in places such as Santa Rita, Cerros, Altun Ha, Pusil Ha, Bejuco, Nim Li Punti, Caracol, and Cahal Pech. The exhibition is opened to all Belizeans and visitors and is free of cost. The Museum administration is asking that you give them a call before visiting the exhibition so to avoid over crowding.

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#21620 - 09/07/06 06:03 AM Re: Jade Exhibit at the Museum of Belize
Marty Offline
Exhibition highlights Jades of Belize
It is a substance that evokes not only the beauty of the jeweller's art, but the mystique of a remarkably advanced ancient civilisation. I'm talking about jade and for the next six months the nation's best pieces will be on display at the Museum of Belize.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Nothing draws a crowd more than the showing of the country’s most precious jewel. That’s right, the jade head, formally known as Kinich Ahau, the Mayan Sun God, went on display at the Museum of Belize.

Prime Minister Said Musa and indigenous leader Gregory Choc, cut the ceremonial ribbon that officially opened the Jades of Belize exhibit. The display showcases some of the ancient masterpieces discovered at various archaeological sites across the country.

The jade head was unearthed at Altun Ha in 1968. It was found lying among the remains of this elderly adult male believed to have been an important ruler of the site during his lifetime. Archaeologists suspect that before this Mayan leader died sometime between 600 to 650 AD, he commissioned an artist to create the large carved object that represents the Maya sun God Kinich Ahua. It has given Belize the distinction of being home to the largest carved jade object in the Maya world.

To the ancient Maya, jade was the most prized of all stones. The pieces on display are predominantly in shades of milky white, red and green. To the Mayans, the colour red represents the rising sun and the green symbolizes sustainability, longevity and all things that nourished the earth. The exhibition at the Museum of Belize is the brain child of M.O.B.’s Director Lita Krohn and her staff. Krohn says her love for Mayan Culture dates back to 1968 as a student at junior college. She hopes the display will stimulate others to learn more.

Lita Krohn, Director, Museum of Belize
“It inspired me to find out more about the Maya and anything I learnt I wanted to share it. I hope that teachers and students will also be inspired and infused with pride of one of our many aspects of our heritage in Maya culture.”

The display according, to Institute of Archaeology Director Dr. Jaime Awe is a fitting way to celebrate Belize’s twenty-fifth anniversary of Independence.

Dr. Jaime Awe, Director, Archaeological Department
“The exhibit also includes beautiful funery masks from Caracol, Santa Rita, Cahal Pech, jewellery from Lamanai and Pusil Ha. And countless other objects from some of our major archaeological sites. This exhibition I believe is truly a celebration of our past cultural achievements.”

The ancient Maya used jade to make a variety of objects including weapons, tools and ornaments. Today jade continues to be mined in the Maya area and is still used to create some of the regions most beautiful jewellery.

Mark Espat, Minister of Culture and National Development
“We are here to celebrate jade and jade is the diamond of our ancestors. If diamonds are forever then we are here to celebrate the infinity of jade. Two thousand years before Jesus, jade was used as jewellery, as a mode of exchange, as offerings in tombs and buildings.”

Along with the spirit of celebration, however, there were some concerns raised about matters affecting the modern Maya. According to Choc, President of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, his invitation to the event was significant in more ways than one.

Greg Choc, President, SATIIM
“We are seldom asked to participate in activities that showcase part of our rich cultural heritage. Whether it be the opening of a newly renovated ancient Maya City or displaying our ancestors technology, writings etc.”

“The realities of the thousands of Mopan and Ketchi Mayas in Belize who are fighting for their social and political survival. We also want an equal share of the opportunities that some Belizeans have taken for granted, opportunities to equal education, good basic health to name a few.”

The opening ceremony was followed by the presentation of the ceremonial deer dance by residents of Otoxha in the Toledo District.

Greg Choc
“I also want to thank the B.T.B. and CARD for contributing substantially to the revitalization of our culture.”

The Jades of Belize is the M.O.B.'s eighth exhibition. It will run for six months, but if you want to see the Jade Head you better come soon because, for security reasons, the priceless object will shortly be returned to the vault.

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#21621 - 09/08/06 08:30 PM Re: Jade Exhibit at the Museum of Belize
Marty Offline
man this must be SOMETHING!!!!

Jadeworks Exhibition:A rare treat for all


Friday, 08 September 2006

By Joseph Stamp Romero - Staff Reporter

The famous Kinich Ahau

In celebrating the nation’s 25 anniversary, the National Institute of Culture and History, through the Museum of Belize and the Institute of Archaeology has organised an exhibition of never- before-seen masterpieces of the ancient Maya.


The exhibition entitled “ Jades of Belize,” opened Wednesday this week. It places special focus on the internationally famous Jade Head, Kinich Ahau, the Maya Sun God, discovered at Altun Ha.

The Jade Head which was discovered in the 1970s at a burial site, is a precious monolithic carved jade stone weighing about seven pounds.

Among the ancient Maya elite jade was valuable and sacred and desired by all members of the social classes.

It was used as jewellery, as a medium of exchange and as offering in tombs and buildings.

The exhibition is the brain child of Lita Krohn, Director of the Museum of Belize and Jaime Awe, Director of the Museum of Archaeology in Belmopan.

Both institutions with the support of NICH decided that the collection should be shown as a part of this year’s celebration, for the purpose of bringing to the attention of Belizean and others the nation’s past cultural achievements.

The exhibition included a live performance from a Toledo cultural group, the Deer Dancers. In their elaborate and brightly coloured costumes they performed the traditional Deer Dance, a stately and graceful movement of head and feet which celebrates their origins and folklore.

There were also speeches from Minister of Culture, Mark Espat and Director Lita Krohn, who highlighted the importance of having the Jade Collection on display.

“The Jade is one of the many attributes that the Maya have to offer Belize,” she said.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for Belizeans to see the Jade collection which is normally not available to the public and is kept locked away in a vault at the Central Bank of Belize.

The exhibition runs for three days - from Wednesday to Friday, after which there will be two final showings - one in October and the other in November of this year.

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