South America is in a fight for literacy. How are the Cofan people battling to preserve language education for their younger generation and thus, preserve their culture? In Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the Fundacion Sobrevivenica Cofan has developed an education project aiming at developing the skills and knowledge of the next generation so that they can preserve the Cofan land-base and be able to communicate effectively with other countries through the world: the Cofán Leadership Development Program.
This year there are a total of twenty-four students placed in five schools around Quito, including two Cofan students in universities. The students live in the Quito Cofan Center, where Cofan foods are served, Cofan values and forms of social interaction are followed, and Cofan is the language of everyday life. The Cofan are hoping to continually expand this project to offer more children the opportunity for superior education.
Come check out the exhibit featured at the museum representing a slice of Cofan culture and familiarize yourself with this studious and progressive people!
The Yi or Lolo people are an ethnic group in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Numbering 8 million, they are the seventh largest of the 55 ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China. They live primarily in rural areas of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi, usually in mountainous regions. Most Yi are farmers; herders of cattle, sheep and goats; and nomadic hunters. Nearly all the Yi live in mountainous areas, often carving out their existence on the sides of steep mountain slopes far from the cities of China. The attitudinal differences of the Yi areas directly affect the climate and precipitation of these areas. These striking differences are the basis of the old saying that “The weather is different a few miles away” in the Yi area. This is the primary reason why the Yi in various areas are so different from one another in the ways they make a living. They practice a form of animism, led by a shaman priest known as the Bimaw. They still retain a few ancient religious texts written in their unique pictographic script. Their religion also contains many elements of Taoism and Buddhism.
The Gallery at IMC is a collection of art by Texas artists from various regions of the Dallas/Fortworth area. A variety of artistic genres are available for your viewing pleasure – jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media paintings – and are also available to purchase if you desire. Kelli Howie, who is curating the exhibit, has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Art from the University of Dallas and a Masters of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and has many years of experience in art instruction at both private and public institutions such as the University of Dallas as an adjunct professor, the Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Visual Expressions Creative Art School. As an independent artist and Civic Cultural Organizer, Kelli works in the creation of images and objects that enhance the human experience. Her art expands from theater costumes, set and prop design to the fine arts including watercolor, oil, ceramics, nature photography and sculpture. Her art will be on display at The Gallery at IMC along with other varying artists.
If you love the arts or know someone who does, we encourage you to come by the museum to view the spectacular art display. The Gallery will continue to be updated and new pieces will become available throughout the year. A percentage of every purchase goes towards supporting the museum so that we can continue to see future exhibits and events.
The Ngbaka People number over one million, most of whom live in some 1500 villages in the extreme Northwest corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo, known formerly as Zaïre, and before that as the Belgian Congo.
Today, 60,000 adults attend Ngbaka adult education classes organized by churches. Ngbaka materials are used in 91 primary schools, with 9,000 children in class. Because no teachers’ salaries have been paid since 1997, these are almost the only functioning primary school in the area… Against all odds!
This exhibit provides an overview of the richness and diversity of languages in Mexico today. It highlights samples of the more than 150 native languages still spoken throughout Mexico. In addition, the displays focus on social implications of the diversity of languages represented within the national life of Mexico.
The Drumbeats of the World exhibit opened August 20, 2005. The interactive touchscreen video accompanying the exhibit was developed by Creative Force Studio, depicting drums from Ecuador, Peru, Africa, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Korea and Native America. Visitors will be introduced to the sounds of drums from every continent. The exhibit is under the direction of the museum curator, Carol Chaney.
The opening event featured a live performance of drum music presented by Clement Tunde Muyeeb “Prince Tunde,” a member of the Osogbo Artist Cultural Movement Foundation. As a master artist he has performed in Brazil, Kenya, Germany and across America. He is associated with the Dallas ISD fine arts department.
The exhibit is sponsored by Nissan Foundation, with additional financial cooperation of the City of Duncanville, Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Humanities Texas, and a state partnership of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Click to hear an example of a Talking Drum.