Day 6, and as we left you hanging with yesterday, today before leaving DC, we went on a trek to the Mayan Underworld, care of the Mexican Cultural Institute, and their exhibition, Hina/Jaina: On the Threshold of the Mayan Underworld
An extremely important site for the Mayan culture, this man-made island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, north of the State of Campeche, during the Classic Period, which took place from 600-900 AD. The main presentation showcasing over fifty “Jaina style” figurines used for the practices of cosmology, religion and other sociological aspects. This amazing display represents an important portion of one of the most intriguing ancient civilizations of Mexico.
“Organized in collaboration with Mexico’s National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and its regional Campeche Center, this display celebrates the Maya’s incredible cultural and artistic… This presentation is part of a year-long series of events around the globe that have been organized in 2012 to highlight various aspects of the Mayan World. This exhibition is funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.”
After walking through this amazingly detailed and vibrant display, we walked through the rest of the institute, which is decorated with beautiful, ornate murals depicting numerous aspects of Mexican culture, along the staircases up through the three floors of the building. Also on display is a documentary entitled Alma de Mexico, which is narrated by the late, great Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes. An hour long film that uses Carlos’ unique prose to introduce each of the five episodes that takes viewers on a journey through the rich culture and history of Mexico from pre-Hispanic era to the present day. Throughout the screening room was a magnificent re-creation of a Mexican villa that also displayed mosaics of the various states of Mexico, dispersed around the room. We then proceeded up an antique looking office, which contained many books of Mexican history, topography and sculpted busts of various historical figures.
Once our visit came to a close, it was back to ol’ faithful Chevy Chase, to drive home to NYC. Let’s hope the three hour drive remains just that, and that our arch-nemesis traffic doesn’t get ahold of us once more. Tomorrow day seven will be spent in our own metaphorical backyard so you can see our version of #LatinoHeritage.