The University Museums of the University of Delaware presents “The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread,” on view 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.
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 UD faculty member Jon Cox and Andrew Bale (UD MFA 2005), 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.
Submitted by Ivan Henderson