For my event I choose to go to the Milwaukee Public Museum and focus on the Latin America exhibit. The Milwaukee Public Museum Latin America exhibit was fascinating and very interesting. The exhibit expressed great detail with loads of information.
When you first walk into the exhibit you first see a market place in Guatemala with many women, and some men dressed in traditional clothing. In the market place you see many foods grown locally, such as peppers, bananas, and many other fruits and vegetables. Also in the market there are craftsmen selling their arts and crafts such as cooking pots, clothing, and decorative vases.
Moving on in the exhibit, you see many displays of the clothing worn by locals. Such as the Mixtec with their very colorful and heavy clothing with many reds and whites. Also the Yalalag clothing that was very light and loses with mostly white fabrics.
Moving on you come across the musical instruments of the peoples of the Spanish Main. The Spanish Main was the coastline of what is now Florida, Mexico, and Central America. The instruments were used for both religious reasons and just for fun.
In the exhibit was a model of a home in the lowlands of the Maya. The home was built on poles way above the ground, sometimes up to 30 feet off the ground. The reason why homes were built so high off the ground were for several of reasons, the main reason being during the wet season the house would not get flooded out, another reason being the safety from creatures such as jaguars. The house was very open with bamboo leafs for the roof, mainly for the house to be able to vent and not store heat.
Moving along, you come across a shirtless indigenous man wearing a dress with a necklace. The necklace however is now considered illegal if you or I were to have one, since the necklace is an actual shrunken head. The process of shrunken heads is for ritual and trophy reasons. There were only a few people known to perform the art, the Shuar, Achuar, Huambisa and Aguaruna. Currently, for obvious reasons, the art is illegal and one has to have special permission to have procession of a shrunken head. The exhibit on shrunken heads displays four actual shrunken heads that came from Peru.
Also displayed in the Latin America exhibit shows of the highlands of Guatemala. Displayed you see a native man in traditional clothing (a parka) with is lama and the mountains in the background.
There is also a model of the Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza, Yucatan for playing the great Mesoamerican ballgame. The scale model shows the largest and architecturally most impressive ball court in Middle America as it must have looked in pre-Columbian times. Its outside dimensions are 75 by 180 yards, and was most like built in the tenth century A.D.
The trip was very well worth it. I learned a great deal and hope to go again very soon. It helped that I was a little knowledgeable about Middle and South America, but anyone going to see the Latin America exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum will appreciate the very educational, detailed, and exciting exhibit.