Belizean Kriol Museum & Gallery opens
Friday, 08 September 2006, The Reporter
By William Ysaguirre - Freelance Writer
Who seh Kriol no gat no culture? In an effort to help future generations of Belizeans remember who we are and where we come from, the National Kriol Council has supported attorney Sharon Pitts with her private project, the Belizean Creole Museum, spelt Creole as the owner decided and not “Kriol.”
The doors were opened to the public on Monday, September 4.
The Museum presents the Makoabi Collection, a staple at several Kriol festivals.
The collection features an array of household utensils, appliances and other paraphernalia typical of Belizean life in yesteryear.
These include early hand-saws, adzes, axe-heads, wooden bowls and goblets and other tools from the logging camps, early cast-iron coal-fired stoves and coal-heated irons.
Also exhibited are old kerosene stoves, stove-top ovens, Coleman lamps and kerosene lanterns, a sewing machine gas-fired irons, and wooden ironing boards. Before television, radio was Belizeans’ window on the outside world and some early models of radios are also displayed.
The St. George’s Caye Day Society has collaborated with the museum in presenting a 10th of September exhibition, which includes photographs of past Queens of the Bay dating back to the start of the pageant in the 40s. Also included is a six-foot portrait of one of the heroes of the Belizean nationalist movement, Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson and an assortment of wooden sculptures by Belizean artists.
The museum is housed in the Burnham Manse, at #88 Albert Street in Belize City, an area once known as Ibo Town.The building, which dates back to the 1930s, is the property of the Methodist Church in Belize and is named after one of the regional leaders of the church in that era.
At Monday’s launching ceremony, Major Errol Robateau of the Salvation Army led the assembled guests in an opening prayer. Sharon Pitts demonstrated her talent at a dying art-form, the telling of Kriol folk tales. “Kriol Gyal” herself, Silvana Woods took the stage to give kudos to those who have helped in her mission too keep the Kriol language alive by changing it to a written language, with a dictionary and phonetic rules for spelling.
Several well wishers and friends were on hand to share their nostalgic reminisces of yesterday.
Rev’d. David Goff of the Methodist Church was on hand to give the official blessing and to cut the ribbon opening the museum.