Inaugural Chilean Art and Craft exhibition well received


DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 6, 2018

The launch of the “Mata ki rangi” (Eyes that look at the Sky) Chilean Craft Exhibition, at the National Museum on Wednesday evening, was well received by all those who attended.

Addressing the gathering, Chilean Ambassador to Guyana, Claudio Rojas said the show, which highlights the cultural and artisan heritage of Chile, is an opportunity to continue fostering closer ties between the two countries. Ambassador Rojas also noted that “it is not only a way to make ties between government… we are making an effort to have ties between peoples.”

The exhibition highlights the diversity and cultural identity of the Rapa Nui people, one of the nine Indigenous cultures in Chile.

Rapa Nui is a Chilean Island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. It is characterised by its sea culture, sailors and fishermen.  The women are also known for their diverse work in necklaces and headdresses for daily and ritual use. The Island, Rapa Nui was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995 and is recognized mainly for its ‘moai’, monumental sculptures of volcanic stone.

Ambassador Rojas highlighted that the exhibition’s launch also coincided with Chile’s International Day of Indigenous women. He also shared that a two-day workshop will be facilitated by Chilean artist Julia Hotus for students and members of the public.

“During this next two days, Julia will remain here and she will carry on workshops with local indigenous people in Guyana and students so that we are honouring the Indigenous People of Guyana in their national month of September while observing our (Chile) Independence month,” the Ambassador added.

According to Carolina Faune, Third Secretary & Consul of the Embassy of Chile in Guyana, the “Mata ki rangi” show was created by the Handicrafts Foundation of Chile, to raise awareness of the valuable artisanal heritage of Rapa Nui peoples.

She noted that the foundation, “works to preserve the heritage identity of Chile, creating opportunities for sociocultural and economic development for Chilean artisans, understanding that craftsmanship is a productive activity that gives support to many families.”

The “Mata ki rangi” exhibition was showcased in Chile between July 2015 and June 2016, where it was visited by more than 92,000 people. In 2018, the show left Chilean shores to begin a tour facilitated by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Foreign Ministry and the Embassies of Chile in Guatemala, Guyana and Honduras.

Neola Damon

Images: Jules Gibson

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