LAIS Affiliate Researcher and Director of the MesoAmerican Research Center (MARC) at UCSB, Dr. Anabel Ford was in Guatemala and Belize to celebrate the opening of ¡Chaya! Dinner with the Maya!, an exhibit curated by Ford and her research team at the Mexican Institute of Culture through January 2020.
As explained by Dr. Ford, it was a lively evening on the 31st of October with music and education from the Maya forest of Belize! Some 100 celebrants attended the opening of the three month exhibit learned about El Pilar, the useful plants of the Maya forest, and the heroes who are managing the forest as a garden.
Highlighting the exhibit were artifacts from the catalog collections of the Institute of Archaeology pertaining to Maya household belongings and a feature of what contemporary domestic belongings symbolize. In today’s society everyone must possess items which allow them to store, cook, and serve, as the Maya did some time ago. For example, anyone can purchase paper napkins and matching flatware, but only the Governor General can have plates with royal insignia! It is items such as these that indicate ritual exclusivity among the Maya. Visitors and guests were asked to imagine reflecting on their own household belongings and how differences in these possessions tell a cultural story.
This exhibit will be open at the Mexican Institute of Culture in Belize through January. All are invited!