The Jades of Belize Exhibit has been running for the past five years at the Museum of Belize. Thousands have walked through the museum to experience the wonders of the Maya civilization. That exhibit has now been upgraded and given a face by curators Araceli Lita Hunter Krohn and Gilvano Swasey. Almost one year in the making, the newly enhanced exhibition was unveiled today and News Five’s Andrea Polanco was there.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
“The People Who Carved Jade and Their Descendants” exhibition was officially opened at the Museum of Belize. It is an exhibition that seeks to delve into the history of the Mayas, Belize’s indigenous group:
Manuel Heredia Jr.
Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture
“This opening of this exhibition is timely, as it provides context and connectivity to the original display. While the history of our country is the sum of all the contributions of the inhabitants, today we pay respect to the people who carved the jades of Belize and their descendants. Today I would like to dispel that misconception of the people who carved the jade as a civilization of old pottery, stones and ruins. This exhibition is intended to give all visitors a better understanding and appreciation of the accomplishment of the Maya Civilization and the richness of their culture. In the first part of the exhibition we will see an impressive collection of the intricately carved jades. We will then take a walk back through a tunnel of time and space back into the past in order to experience the magnificence and splendor of the Maya Civilization and their contributions to our cultural heritage.”
Dr. David Brown, Secretary General, Belize National Commission for UNESCO
“We are talking here about culture and we’re talking here about history too and history cannot just end by talking about people in their ancient times, there must be a continuation some how, so what happened to them, they were so great so what happened to them now?”
To find out about the past of the Maya people, the exhibition which is a collection of artifacts, illustrations and photographs was brought to life with a new dimension, a human face, Julian Cho:
Araceli Hunter Krohn
Araceli Hunter Krohn, Curator of the Maya Exhibit
“Later on it was thought good these are beautiful, wonderful works of art, but there are stories, and there are people behind all of this. So let’s put a human face on these objects, because a lot of kids come up and say okay this is the Buena vista vase but now we have gone beyond that and we are showing the story behind it. You can give credit to Julian Cho and Greg Choc. Well Julian died, but they both came together and did the Atlas of Belize that showed what is being done and where the Maya villages are and what have you down in the Toledo District. We picked him because he was one of the original young leaders.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.
In addition to the expanded exhibition there’s also a publication titled “ The People who carved the jade and their descendants”. Interestingly, the original cover of the publication carries the image of Julian Cho as a descendant from the maya, but that cover has been replaced with one carrying images of artifacts.