Video: Smithsonian creates bilingual exhibit to highlight and study ancient Latin American ceramics


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LatinaLista — Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama are countries that comprise Central America, as well as, being the home countries of many U.S. Latinos. They are also home to a vibrant ancestral heritage that lives on in the arts and ruins discovered over the years.

Now, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center have partnered in a special exhibit in Washington DC spotlighting this region. “Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed” is a bilingual exhibit featuring over 12,000 catalogued pieces that is part of a larger effort to research and document Latin American ceramic art.

Each piece reflects a “work in gold, jade, shell and stone. These objects span the period from 1000 BC to the present and illustrate the richness, complexity, and dynamic qualities of Central American civilizations that were connected to peoples in South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean through social and trade networks that shared knowledge, technology, artworks, and systems of status and political organization.”

Though the exhibit is in Washington DC, the Smithsonian Latino Center offers a couple of interactive features on their website to bring the exhibit ‘home’ to visitors. One feature is the opportunity to examine in-depth select ceramic artwork with 3-D imaging and the other is a downloadable coloring book for children to learn more about Central America, the people who made the ceramics on exhibit and learn more about the animals and customs of that time period.

The exhibition will be open through Feb. 1, 2015 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.