Thursday, November 7, 2013

365 Inspirations—311: Peru Exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum

Peru exhibit at The Seattle Art Museum
"Going to Peru is, well, if you ever have an opportunity in your life to go there, you should do it because it is absolutely mind boggling."—Dean Stockwell

The first Thursday of every month is usually free at the Seattle Art Museum, so we went. We had to pay a little extra for the amazing Peru exhibit. There were three different groups of friends who wanted to see this exhibit with me, but I decided to go with my husband, Yoon today.

The reason being that this exhibit has special significance for the both of us because we just returned from Peru in September. My experiences there are being documented in a new book I'm writing. 

We both picked up audio equipment at the entrance of the exhibit so that we could hear the descriptions and historical background of each piece.

I was particularly interested in the Pre-Incan artifacts. Peruvians, particularly those of the ancient civilizations, have a strong connection to the earth, sun, moon, stars, etc. Cosmology was a big part of their lives. The early Peruvians did not see death as something that should be mourned. Opposites like light/dark, sun/moon, earth/sky, life/death were seen as interconnected. Without one there could not be the other. The full cycle of life and afterlife were celebrated.

I was surprised to discover that long ago early Peruvians drank Chicha (alcohol made from corn). This was said to aid in fertility. After some of the Chicha was consumed, it was given back to the earth or thrown down as an offering to Mother Earth, known by many Peruvians as Pachamama.

While in Peru, I had the opportunity to participate in a ceremony with a shaman high up in the mountains at a Pre-Incan ruin. The shaman burned herbs and chanted. We made offerings of rice, dried fish, beans, and chicha. I was happy to discover that these rituals have been around for thousands of years.

While I was fascinated by the exhibit and the history of the ancient cultures of Peru, there's nothing like visiting Peru itself. I feel it is one place you must experience. When you go to Machu Picchu, you can feel the past, present and future all at once. It is truly a remarkable place.

Have you ever been to an art exhibit that held particular meaning for you?

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