The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread

Old College Gallery
August 31 – December 9, 2016

As Amazonia loses many of its indigenous cultures, their deep understanding of the interconnectedness of nature is also disappearing. The Ese’Eja, one of the few extant foraging societies of Peru, have been stewards of the lands in the Amazon basin for thousands of years. Although their cultural history and spiritual connection to the forest is profound, beyond their community it is known only to a small number of specialists. This exhibition tells their story in the hope of influencing public policy and empowering the Ese’Eja in determining their future.

Jon Cox and Andy Bale Fertility, 2014 platinum palladium print, 12 x 8 in. (16 x 20 in. framed)
Jon Cox and Andy Bale
Fertility, 2014
platinum palladium print, 12 x 8 in. (16 x 20 in. framed)

By sharing their knowledge and culture, members of the community offer us a unique perspective on the complex political, environmental, and human rights issues at play in contemporary Peru. The photographs and daguerreotypes of Jon Cox and Andrew Bale,  accompanied by artifacts that are part of the community’s daily life included in The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread  illustrate a worldview,  a way of life,  a heritage, as well as the contemporary challenges facing these resilient people.

This exhibition is part of a multidisciplinary cultural mapping project centering on the Ese’Eja Nation and involving UD faculty, students and alumni.  It is funded in part by a generous National Geographic Genographic Legacy Fund Grant.

Cultural mapping is a process used to identify the unique assets embedded within the oral history and traditions of a given population of people; objectives include documenting the Ese’Eja culture and creating a sustainable plan for the community.  In collaboration with the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research, educational programming for the schools of the Ese’Eja and surrounding communities is also in development, as is a broader, international educational initiative.

We thank the following for their generous support of this project: Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research, Dickinson College, Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies Consortium, National Geographic Society, Notchcode Creative, Rainforest Expeditions, Peru and the University of Delaware.

Click here to access a virtual guide to the exhibition The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread. Here you will find further information about the themes, photographs, and objects featured in the exhibit.

Banner image: Jon Cox and Andy Bale, Madre de Dios at Dawn, 2014. platinum palladium print, 12 x 8 in. (16 x 20 in. framed)

PROGRAMMING

Opening Reception
Remarks by Dennis J. Coker, Principal Chief of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware; and Paul Morgan, board chair, Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research, and Director of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in education for sustainability at West Chester University
RSVP: universitymuseums@udel.edu and (302) 831-8037
Tuesday, October 11, 5-7 p.m.
Old College Gallery

Perspectives is a series of informal afternoon discussions led by curators and invited faculty about the objects, exhibitions, and ideas on display in University Museums galleries. Scheduled for your lunch break, these varied, short and informal noontime talks offer an introduction to each exhibition as well as time for discussion.

Representing Amazon Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue
Carla Guerrón-Montero, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, and Monica Dominguez Torres, Associate Professor, Department of Art History
Wednesday, October 26, 12-12:45 p.m.
Old College Gallery

Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Rainforest
Roger W. Mustalish, President of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER), and Professor Emeritus at West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 10, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Old College Gallery

Maribel Beas
Wednesday, November 30, 12-12:45 p.m.
Old College Gallery

Photography Workshop: Platinum/Palladium Printing Process
During this one-day, hands-on workshop we will begin with a discussion of the platinum/palladium printing process used in the creation of photographic images included in The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread exhibition in the West Gallery of Old College. Participants will learn how to properly select and edit an image using Photoshop, and create and output a digital inkjet negative. Participants will then be guided through the art of the platinum/palladium printing process from applying the emulsion by hand to exposing and developing their first prints. Led by UD Art & Design Professor Jon Cox and Andrew Bale, Lecturer in Art and Art History, Dickinson College. Intended for a maximum of 10 participants.
Registration required: joncox@udel.edu. Cost $250 – Lunch and all platinum palladium materials are included. 50% deposit required to secure a place in the workshop.
Saturday, November 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Studio Art Building

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