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Posted: Thursday 26 July, 2007 at 4:05 PM



    By S. N. Creque


    Hazel Brooks a consultant at the National Museum showcases one of the art pieces. All Photos by Suelika N. Buchanan




    (Basseterre; St. Kitts): “Honoring our Ancestors Through Art” is the theme used to emphasize the National Museum’s Art exhibition which began on Tuesday, July 24.
    Beautifully constructed art pieces were borrowed from around the world including several African nations and Caribbean countries adorning both rooms of the national museum. The exhibition is expected to last for three months.
    According to Hazel Brooks a consultant, at the Museum the arts are showing a little part of our history and what defines us as a people.

    Displays such as Marks from various African countries, depicts our strength as a people and some were also used with costumes such as what we have today in terms of our “Clowns” that parade during our National Carnival.


    A photo displaying an Ethiopian traveler which embodies our African Spirituality.


    Our strength also came from the beating of drums that were used by the slaves to send messages to other slaves and there was also a display of an ancient steel pan.
    Our diversified artistic nature also encouraged other cultures and there is a display of “Our Influence” on those cultures at the Museum.
    “Young people who are interested in learning more about their history should come to see the display and read the information we have provided as well as adults,” said Brooks.

    There was also a photocopied display of the actual names of the slaves that were based in St. Kitts at Old Romney Manor.


    A photocopied display of the Abolition of Slave Trade Act Emancipation Act.


    Betto Douglas rings a bell?
    She was indeed one of the slaves at Romney Manor who was infamous because she questioned the authorities about her freedom which had been promised to her.
    She was just one of the many female slaves who also did their part in fighting for their freedom along with the men. That information on Betto Douglas can be found at the museum during the “honoring our ancestors” display.

    Brooks said that while the museum is pleased to have copies of the documents with the names of the actual slaves that were in St. Kitts and also a copy of the abolition act, she hopes that one day St. Kitts-Nevis can acquire the actual documents.


    A Batik inspired design of a Mask which was originally done by Royd Phipps.


    “I really hope the government would look into somehow acquiring these actual documents that are apart of our history, it is about time Caribbean people write their own history books,” she said.
    Brooks said that the actual documents are in England.
    Along with the regional and international arts, the talents of persons from St. Kitts and Nevis are also displayed.
    They are showcased in pottery which was also some of the first arts made by the slaves that used them for their everyday living.

    The pottery comes from the New Castle Pottery of Nevis. There was also a Batik inspired design of a Mask which was originally done by Royd Phipps and also a wooden sculpture by Ras Tesroy.


    Some of the African marks on display.  



    Brooks said that her hope with the exhibition is for the local artists to get the exposure they need.


    She said that so far she has linked several businesses with artists and hopes that more artists will bring their work to the museum.


    “Once they are up to the museum standards we will be happy to have them,” she said.
    Brooks sends out a special urge for people to come and look at the arts on display. The museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday and closes at 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
    The display will also be apart of Tourism Week.
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