Pirates of Belize display at the museum
Days of real life pirates of the Caribbean have long retired to our imagination but there’s no denying their existence and the significant role they played in Belize’s colonial past. As a matter of fact historians argue that the word Belize is derived from the name Peter Wallace, a famous buccaneer who settled the bay in the eighteenth century. Be that as it may an exhibit at the Museum of Belize which showcases these rowdy seafarers is sure to bring some perspective to the history of our nation. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke to Museum Director Lita Krohn about the display.
Lita Krohn, Director, Museum of Belize“When you come to the exhibition Pirates of Belize you will see that there is lots of text but it’s so exciting and interesting because we in Belize never seem to think that we were part of a bigger picture so this brings us pirates starting out, they were all over the world. A pirate was a person that just stole but there were many reasons for piracy, some people were kidnapped, some people were runaways, some people owed people money. There were many reasons to be a pirate and many of these pirates were unemployed British sailors, or Spanish or French, different slaves. Some were escaped slaves that became pirates so they were in all colors and shapes.”
While these men were no Jack Sparrow or Davy Jones there was surprisingly strict method to the mayhem wreaked. Lita Krohn“The thing that is interesting is that they organized themselves. They had codes of behavior. You didn’t behave, you were punished. You lost a limb, you were compensated. They had disability and stuff and what is important for Belize is our connection. Once they left the world of piracy then they started logwood, so that’s connected to us right there; logwood exploration and exportation from Belize. The people that started it were pirates turned logwood cutters.”
Since Belize’s early history was based on logwood cutting which eventually led to the slave trade, Krohn is hoping that visitors will walk away with a deeper understanding of the role pirates played in shaping the country’s past. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.http://edition.channel5belize.com/?p=31060