31 ene. 2011

Belizean chicken wings

It’s a cultural smorgasbord! It’s as varied and rich as the several cultures that together make up Belizean cuisine. Belizean food can be as peppery and fiery as the heat of the tropical sun, or as cool and refreshing as the crystal clear Caribbean waters that wash the Belizean shores. Or it can be as light and bright as the hundreds of birds that sing in Belizean jungles, or as savory and earthy as the dozens of wildlife that roam her acres of primary forest. With the addition of immigrants from India, mainland China, Nigeria and neighboring Central American countries over the years, Belizean cuisine also now has an added international flavor. And, particularly with the gastronomic rise in tourism in the past five years, European cuisine, as well as American favorites, has become as readily available as the stalwart Kriol (Creole) rice-and-beans, Mestizo chimole, Mayan caldo, Garifuna hudut or East Indian curried favorites – all dishes which, incidentally, can today be considered pan-Belizean.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs (750 grams) Chicken Wings
  • 3 tbsp Grated Onion
  • ½ tbsp Grated Orange peel
  • 2 tbsp Grated fresh Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 3 tbsp Soya Sauce
  • ½ tsp Crushed pepper Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Prepared Mustard
  • ¼ cup Tomato Ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil (optional)
How to cook it:
Preheat oven to 400 degree F/ 200 degree C.
Cut off tips of chicken wings, cut each wing in half at the joint.
Rub onion, orange peel, ginger and salt on wings,
Whisk honey, Grace Soya sauce, Grace crushed pepper sauce, mustard and Grace Tomato Ketchup and oil.
Mix well and pour over chicken wings.
Cover and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
Place chicken wings with sauce in a single layer on baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown.
Serving Suggestions: Serve honey hot wings with additional sauce.

© Text and image: www.gracekennedybelize.com

29 ene. 2011

Binta and the great idea


Title: Binta and the great Idea
Director: Javier Fresser
Writer: Javier Fresser
Year: 2004
Running time: 31 minutes
Country: Senegal and Spain
Plot summary:
"Binta and the Great Idea" ("Binta y la Gran Idea") is a 2004 Spanish-Senegalese co-production short film by writer-director Javier Fesser. The film stars Zeynabou Diallo as Binta, Agnile Sambou as Binta's Father, and Aminata Sane as Soda. The film duration is approximately 31 minutes, with dialogue in Diola and French. The film is included in Oscar Nominated Short Films by Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International; the theatrical release of this collection was February 16, 2007.
This film was made in collaboration with UNICEF, to which 100% of the profits will be given.

Binta is a young African girl who serves as the narrator. She talks about her father and his 'great idea'. Binta's father is a small-time, local fisherman in a peaceful village in Senegal. His friend who recently visited Europe describes what fishing is like there. He tells him that the Europeans can catch thousands of fish with bigger boats equipped with sonar. The man, very impressed by this, encourages the father to approach the government and request a permit for a bigger boat. Binta's father also hears from his friend how once he attains wealth he must get a permit for a weapon so he can defend his wealth. The friend also shows off his watch which has an alarm set to ring every day at noon. "What happens at noon?" asks Binta's father. "Why, the alarm rings!" his friend replies.
Binta's father is shown making his way up through the ranks of government, sharing his great idea with various officials. The film switches back and forth between the story of Binta and her father and the struggle between Binta's cousin, Soda, and her father, a village elder. Soda desperately wants to go to school, but her father believes African girls should not be educated; they should learn to tend the home and then get married and tend to home and family.
The village school children put on a play to convince Soda's father to let her attend school. Here we experience the power of art and solidarity; in the end, the father is finally convinced, and Soda is allowed to get an education.
Finally, when Binta's father meets with the provincial leader, we find out what his great idea was: He wants do his part to make the world a better place by adopting a tubab (white child), "preferably weaned," in order to teach him/her qualities which Western industrialized society has largely lost, such as sharing, solidarity, the sustainable use of resources. This film is unusual in that it allows us a glimpse of Western culture as viewed from a third world perspective.
Various themes are touched upon in this delightful film: the power of art to bring about change (see both the play-within-the-film and the film itself), sustainability and equitable division of resources, and the true meaning of progress and humanity.
© Text: Wikipedia

27 ene. 2011

The Mursi of Ethiopia


Name: Mursi
Living Area: Ethiopia
Population: 7,500
Language: Mursi
Comments:   
The Mursi (or Murzu) are a nomadic cattle herder ethnic group located in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region in Ethiopia, close to the Sudanese border. According to the 2007 national census, there are 7,500 Mursi, 448 of whom live in urban areas, of the total number 92.25% live in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR).
Surrounded by mountains between the Omo River and its tributary the Mago, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated regions of the country. Their neighbours include the Aari, the Banna, the Bodi, the Kara, the Kwegu, the Me'en the Nyangatom and the Suri. They are grouped together with the Me'en and Suri by the Ethiopian government under the name Surma.
The Mursi have their own language, also called Mursi, which is classified as one of the Surmic languages; it is closely related (over 80% cognate) to Me'en and Suri, as well as Kwegu. Two orthographies for the Mursi language exist, one Amharic-based and the other Latin-based. The former was developed by members of the missionary organization Serving In Mission, who have worked amongst the Mursi at Maki since 1987. The Latin-based orthography was developed by Moges Yigezu of Addis Ababa University.
The religion of the Mursi people is classified as Animism, although about 15% are Christians. The 1994 census reported that 97% of the Mursi were illiterate.

Well-known by: their women's lip-plates
The Mursi women are famous for wearing plates in their lower lips. These lip discs are made of clay. Girls are pierced at the age of 15 or 16. Similar body ornaments are worn by the Suyá people, a Brazilian tribe.

© Text and image: Wikipedia 

25 ene. 2011

Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair

Name: BRAFA’11 Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair
Date and opening times: 21 to 30th January 2011, daily from 11 am to 7 pm
Place: Thurn & Taxis, Avenue du Port 86 C, Brussels, Belgium
Entrance fee: 20 €
Contact: info@brafa.be, Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 48 31
Webpage: www.brafa.be
Comments:
For the eight time, the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair will take place in the large halls of the mail sorting station of “Thurn & Taxis” The exhibition space comprises a total surface of 14.000 m², spread over room 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the building A. This historical building, located along the Willebroek canal, is a wonderful example of the Belgian industrial architectural heritage. It was built around 1903-1904 according to the plans of the architect Van Humbeek and was originally used as a storage place for transit merchandise. Technically seen it is the most astonishing building of the site, covered by a phenomenal metal frame of 17.000 m². The complex is situated in the heart of Brussels, only a few minutes from Place Rogier, the North Station and the tube station Yser.
Also this year the interior design of the different rooms of the fair will be done by Nicolas de Liedekerke and Daniel Culot of “Volume Architecture”. They participate actively to the creation of a general image of the 56th Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair at the site of Tour & Taxis. Their team will once again render a unique creative touch to the architecture of this formal sorting centre.
The target of the “Asbl Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique” is to bring together the participating dealers and organise this prestigious national and international fair to their attention. Another objective is to create a sense of brotherhood and moral support amongst the affiliated members.
The 130 participants represent different countries such as Belgium (50%), France, Germany, Great-Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Russia, Spain, USA and Switzerland. A balanced number which the organisation doesn’t want to increase in spite of the international reputation of the fair.
Antiquities, Oceanic art, Tribal art, Oriental art, silver, antique jewellery, furniture and works of art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, curiosities, ceramics, earthenware and porcelain, drawings, engravings, old master and modern paintings, sculpture, carpets, tapestry, antique and modern books, coins, contemporary art, photography.
Thanks to the increase of quality and the international reputation, the fair has actually a number of 38.000 visitors from Belgium and abroad.
Quality and authenticity are guaranteed thanks to a rigorous selection done by an independent vetting committee. These experts are not exhibiting and are mostly museum curators and scientists from all over the world. This vetting procedure adds greatly to the high expectations of the demanding public looking for exceptional works of art!

© Text and image: www.brafa.be

23 ene. 2011

Oral and Graphic Expressions of the Wajapi

The Wajapi of the Tupi-guarani cultural-linguistic group are indigenous to the northern Amazonian region. Some 580 Wajapi live in 40 small villages on a specially designated territory in the state of Amapá. The Wajapi have a long history of using vegetable dyes to adorn their bodies and objects with geometric motifs. Over the centuries, they have developed a unique communication system – a rich blend of graphic and verbal components – that reflects their world-view and enables them to hand down knowledge about community life.
This graphic art is known as kusiwa and its designs are applied with red vegetable dyes extracted from the roucou plant mixed with scented resins. The Wajapi consider that the technical and artistic proficiency required to master the drawing technique and the preparation of the dye cannot be attained before the age of forty. Commonly recurring motifs include the jaguar, anaconda, butterfly and fish. Kusiwa designs refer to the creation of humankind and come alive through a rich corpus of myths. This body art, closely linked to Amerindian oral traditions, possesses multiple meanings on socio-cultural, aesthetic, religious and metaphysical levels. Indeed, kusiwa constitutes the very framework of Wajapi society and is endowed with significance extending far beyond its role as a graphic art form. This coded repertory of traditional knowledge is perpetually evolving as indigenous artists are constantly reconfiguring the motifs and inventing new patterns.
Although the Wajapi live on their protected territory, their traditional lifestyle, including the practice of kusiwa, is in danger of losing its symbolic significance and may even disappear altogether. Such a loss would drastically alter the community’s social and cosmological reference points. The principal threats stem from disinterest on the part of the younger generation and the decreasing number of Wajapi proficient in the kusiwa repertory.
Inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2003)
© Text and images: UNESCO

21 ene. 2011

Mana Maori exhibition

Exhibition: Mana Maori
Dates:
Until 1 May 2011
Place: Museum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1, Leiden, The Nederlands
Admission: € 7.50
Webpage: www.rmv.nl
About the exhibition:
For the forthcoming period, the National Museum of Ethnology revolves around the Maori. We are focussing on the first inhabitants of New Zealand through a series of activities for the next half year.
The Waka
A Waka for the Netherlands. For the first time in history, the Maori built a Waka (a Maori canoe) which will stay in Leiden and can also be used by non-Maori. With the building of the Waka, the National Museum of Ethnology intensified the age-old relationship between the Netherlands and New Zealand. The Dutch Waka taua was named ‘Te Hono ki Aotearoa’, or ‘Connected with New Zealand’ on 26 June. The 14-meter-long canoe is made from a single kauri tree, which is around 700 years old. The Waka has been officially handed over to the National Museum of Ethnology in October 2010.
Mana Maori – exhibition
New Zealand, a diverse and rugged country. Still undiscovered when the Maori first arrived on its shores. Explore the exhibition ‘Mana Maori’ and discover the Maori, their country, world view, social networks and their art and family treasures.
The exhibition is suitable for the whole family. In addition to beautiful objects, educational installations and film material specially made for the exhibition, children from the age of 6 years can follow the kiwi on a trail through the exhibition.
Workshops and other activities
Until 1st May 2011 the National Museum of Ethnology offers an abundance of Maori activities, trails for children, performances and regular workshops and demonstrations. Contact the museum for more information or have a look at the (Dutch language) calendar.

© Text and image: Museum Volkenkunde

19 ene. 2011

Ki‘i Hulu Manu

Name: Ki‘i Hulu Manu
Origin: Hawaii
Museum: The Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)
Materials: wood and bird feathers
Comments:
Feathered image of Kūkā‘ilimoku (Kū the land grabber), war god of Hawai‘i island.
The early Polynesians who came to the islands of Hawai‘i eventually created full, and often distinct, communities on each island. While there was contact, interaction and exchange between the islands, as a general rule, political control was at the moku (large land division within an island), or sometimes island, level. During the eighteenth century however, one of the most renowned kāula (prophet, seer) from Māui predicted the coming of one who would bring all of the islands under his rule; who would bring peace through unification. During this era, in the court of Kalani‘ōpu‘u was a young boy named Kamehameha. He was a strong and brave youth and was soon assigned to the renowned warrior Kekūhaupi‘o to train in the arts of battle. He was also assigned kāhuna to teach him the ways of the gods.
The powerful god Kūkā‘ilimoku (Kū-snatcher of islands) was one important path to power of the ali‘i nui at this time. Prior to his death, Kalani‘ōpu‘u bequeathed care of his lands to his son Kīwala‘ō, but significantly, left this god of war and politics to Kamehameha. Kamehameha and his kāhuna cared for this god with the utmost austerity and were rewarded with great success in battle. After a series of battles, Kīwala‘ō was killed at Ke‘ei and eventually control of Hawai‘i Island came to Kamehameha. Kamehameha carried his efforts at unification on to Māui and defeated the warriors under Kalanikūpule at the famous battle of ‘Iao. He was not able to take Māui at the time however, as he was called to return home to put down an uprising there.
After several unsuccessful battles with his brother Keoua Kuahu‘ula, Kamehameha took a reprieve from warfare and sought the advice of his kahuna Kapoukahi. This kahuna advised Kamehameha to build a great house for his god Kūkā‘ilimoku. This act would ensure his ultimate victory over all the islands. The entire district was called forth and labored to build the massive Pu‘ukoholā heiau at Kohalā. Upon completion this intense structure stood approx. 200 feet by 100 feet and commanded awe from all who saw it. The structure however, and the god it housed, lacked one thing, an appropriate sacrifice. Kamehameha called his brother Keoua to the heiau and indeed Keoua complied. He was killed on arrival, laid upon the alter, and the dedication was complete. Kamehameha had earned the support of Kūkā‘ilimoku.
With the full power of his war god behind him, Kamehameha launched his massive Peleleu fleet of warships. Upon landing on Māui the ships were said to cover the beaches from Launiupoko to Mala. Kamehameha continued on to Moloka‘i and then launched his decisive battle against Kalanikūpule at O‘ahu. After defeat at Nu‘uanu, Kalanikūpule was later taken and offered in sacrifice to Kūkā‘ilimoku. With only Kaua‘i remaining not under his rule, Kamehameha again launched his fleet. This attempt would be unsuccessful, as a great storm would sink much of the fleet. Later, after a meeting of the two great ali‘i nui, an agreement was made to allow Kaumuali‘i to rule over Kaua‘i until his death at which time Kaua‘i too would be given over to Kamehameha. With this Kamehameha had fulfilled the prophecy and created the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, over which peace would rule for most of the next century.

© Photos and text: www.hawaiialive.org

17 ene. 2011

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including fried rice accompanied with other items, or a more complicated fried rice, typically spiced with tamarind and chilli and including other ingredients, particularly egg and prawns. There is also a special nasi goreng which is made with ikan asin (salted dried fish) which is also popular across the country.
Nasi goreng is considered the national dish of Indonesia. There are many Indonesian cuisines but few national dishes. Nasi goreng is the best of them. Indonesia's national dish knows no social barriers. It can be enjoyed in its simplest manifestation from a tin plate at a roadside warung, or food stall; eaten on porcelain in fancy restaurants, or constructed at the ubiquitous buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.


Nasi Goreng
Ingredients:
  • 350 gr. Long Grain Rice
  • 2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Green Chillis, Sambal Ulek or Sambal Badjak.
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 250 gr. Chicken meat
  • 250 gr. Shelled Prawns
  • 3 Tbs. Kecap Manis
How to cook it:
This dish is best made from cold leftover rice, but you can cook a fresh batch and leave it to cool for at least 4 hours.
Beat the eggs and make into a omelette, slice into strips and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the chopped onion, leek, garlic and chillis. Fry until the onion is soft. Add the Coriander and Cumin. Slice Chicken into strips and add with the prawns to the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally until they are well mixed. Add the rice, soya sauce and omelette strips and cook for a further 5 minutes. Decorate with some of the leftover leek and serve hot. Enjoy.

© Text and image: Wikipedia / Recipe: www.indochef.com

15 ene. 2011

Yaaba


Title: Yaaba
Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Writer: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Year: 1989
Running time: 90 minutes
Country: Burkina Faso
Plot summary:
The film is set in a small African village. Bila (Noufou Ouédraogo) is a ten year old boy who makes friends with an old woman called Sana (Fatimata Sanga), who has been accused of witchcraft by her village, and has become a social outcast. Only Bila is respectful of her, and calls her "Yaaba" (Grandmother). When Bila's cousin, Nopoko (Roukietou Barry), falls ill, a medicine man insists that Sana has stolen the girl's soul. Sana undergoes a long and grueling journey to find a medicine to save Nopoko's life. Sana manages to save Nopoko's life, but is still treated as a witch. After Sana dies, the real reason why she is hated in the village is uncovered, but her love and wisdom she invested in Bila and Nopoko lives on.

© Text and image: Wikipedia

13 ene. 2011

The Suruí of Brazil

Name: Suruí
Living Area: Brazil
Population: 185
Language: Akwáwa
Comments:   
The Suruí, also called the Aikewara, are an indigenous people who live in the Rondônia region of Brazil.
First prolonged contact with the modern world came in the late 1960s, the Brazilian government laid the 2,000-mile Trans-Amazon Highway through Rondônia. The tribe was decimated by disease - nearly 90 percent died within a few years.

Well-known by: using high-tech tools.
The Suruí have recently made headlines as one of the first indigenous people of South America to use high-tech tools (in particular Google Earth) to police their territory. In cooperation with Google Earth Outreach, they can request more detailed satellite photos when they spot suspicious areas. If loggers or miners are detected, they refer the case to the authorities who have them removed. Satellite pictures show that this is highly effective as the Suruí territory is the only intact remaining piece of rainforest in the area.
The Suruí have recently launched a forest carbon project as part of their 50-year tribal management plan. A recent legal opinion by Baker & McKenzie determined that the Surui own the carbon rights to the territory, setting a precedent for future indigenous-led carbon projects in Brazil.

© Text: Wikipedia / Image: www.amazonteam.org

11 ene. 2011

Ibeji of the Yoruba

Title: Encyclopedia of the Ibeji
Author: Fausto Polo
Year of publication: 2010
Paperback: 660 pages
Language: English, French, German or Italian
Price: 180 USD, 140 EUR
Buy at: www.ibejiart.com
Comments:
Hardcover binding
12½  x  9½  x 2 inches
660 coated paper pages
510  full-page Ibeji singles or pairs plates in color
19  full-page plates with Ibeji details photos
17 full-page maps in color
Published & distributed by Ibeji Art
About the Yoruba Ibjei:
In the Yoruba language ibeji literally means "twins". Carved wooden figures made to house the soul of a dead twin are also called ibeji. These wooden figures, six to ten inches high and carved with the family mask, are often well tended. The Yoruba people believe that this care and tending helps ensure the survival of the other twin.
Traditionally, when twins were born, the parents would visit a Babalawo, meaning, "father of mysteries", to find out their wishes. The first of the twins to be born is traditionally named Taiyewo or Tayewo, (which means 'the first to taste the world'); this is often shortened to Taiwo, Taiye, or Taye. Kehinde, "the last to come", is the name of the last-born twin. These are what could be called "celestial" Yoruba names; names due to birth circumstances. The child after the twins is called "Idowu" regardless of the sex, a boy or a girl. "Alaba" is the one after Idowu, either a boy or a girl, which is usually followed by Oni and Ola or "Idogbe", etc.
It is said that Kehinde sends Taiyewo to check out what life is like on earth and to tell him (or her) whether it is good. Therefore, Taiyewo goes as sent by Kehinde, and becomes the first child to be born. He then communicates to Kehinde spiritually (believed to be from the way he cries) whether life is going to be good or not. The reply determines if Kehinde will be born alive or stillborn. Both return to where they came from if the reply from Taiyewo is not good enough for both of them.
The Yoruba traditionally say that Kehinde is the true elder of the twins despite being the last to be born, because he sent Taiyewo on an errand, a prerogative of one's elders in Yorubaland. Kehinde is therefore referred to as Omokehindegbegbon (which means, 'the child that came last becomes the elder'). However, the first-born twin is also sometimes referred to as Taiyelolu or Tayelolu, which is short for Omotaiyelolu and means, 'the child that came to taste life excels'.
Since in Yoruba tradition, each person is one soul in the long line of ancestral souls, twins are complex, sharing the same soul - but one of the two is thought to have the spiritual half of the soul while the other has the mortal half. Since there is no way to determine which has the mortal soul and which the spiritual soul, if one twin should die, a carving is commissioned to represent the deceased child. Only the sex and the lineal facial scarifications (if the child had any) are specified and are faithfully recreated in the carved figure. Taiyewo is believed to be mostly the quiet, calmer, and introverted of the twins, while Kehinde is mostly believed to be the extroverted one.
As stated above, the Yoruba believe that both twins share one soul, so if one twin dies at a young age, the balance of the soul is thrown off or disturbed. The death rate of children is very high in Africa, and on account of this, a ritual is carried out to put the twins’ soul back into balance. The Ifá priest chooses a well-established carver to create a small figure that symbolizes the dead child. The carver is free to create a figure of the twin in his own image of what he felt about the twin. If both twins die, then two figures are made. The soul is then spiritually transported into the figures. These figures are called ere ibeji. Ibi means born, eji means two, and ere means sacred image. The figure remains as respected and as powerful as the person it represents. The children’s parents must treat the statue as if it were real, so it is bathed, fed, and clothed just as it would be in life. The figure is particularly special to the mother, who keeps the figure close to her bed. She rubs the figure with red wood powder to maintain the look of slickness, and she caresses the figure in a loving manner. Rituals and prayers are performed for the child’s birthday and other celebrations or festivals.
The head of the figure is associated with the child’s destiny, which measures the success or failure of the child. The size of the head is one-third the size of the body because the head is where the spirit resides. The head must be big in proportion to the rest of the body. The figure is very detailed, but it is only a symbol of the child and is not intended to be a realistic likeness but rather a resemblance of a human. The child is shown as an adult, which is common in African sculpture. The features of the child are more mature, including scarifications on the face, and full-sized breasts on female figures. The surface of the figure is very smooth. The figure is motionless to represent discipline, serenity, and confidence. The figure is sometimes made to hold symbolic items. Shells or beads may invoke certain gods or indicate wealth.

© Text: Wikipedia

9 ene. 2011

Aymara traditions

The proposed sub-regional project aims at developing safeguarding measures to ensure the viability of the oral expressions, music and traditional knowledge (textile art and agricultural technologies) of the Aymara communities of Bolivia (La Paz-Oruro-Potosí), Chile (Tarapacá-Arica-Parinacota-Antofagasta) and Peru (Tacna-Puno-Moquegua). The activities, planned for implementation over the course of a five-year project, are: (i) identifying and inventorying the traditional knowledge and oral traditions of Aymara communities in the selected areas, (ii) strengthening language as a vehicle for transmission of the intangible cultural heritage through formal and non-formal education, (iii) promoting and disseminating Aymara oral and musical expressions and (iv) reinforcing traditional knowledge related to the production of textile arts and traditional agricultural techniques. These four lines of action of the planned project have been established as priorities by the Aymara communities in the different phases of consultation and preparation of the project and they will be implemented with the full involvement of the communities, guided by the 2003 Convention’s principles. The project intends to adopt as its working strategy the creation of a subregional and international network comprising individuals, communities, groups, cultural managers, specialists, indigenous organizations, research centres, NGOs and Governments, to promote the exchange of experience, information and training in order to strengthen capacities in the region.

© Text and images: UNESCO

7 ene. 2011

Breaking with Tradition

Exhibition: Breaking with Tradition
Dates:
11 November 2010 to 8 May 2011, Daily 11:00 - 17:00 h
Place: Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art (AAMU) Oudegracht 176, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Admission:  €8,-
Webpage: www.aamu.nl
About the exhibition:
Until 8 May 2011, the exhibition Breaking with Tradition is on display at the AAMU. It is a fascinating and challenging exploration of the influences of the European Cobra movement on developments in contemporary Aboriginal art from Central Australia. You will see work of a.o. Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Asger Jorn and Pierre Alechinsky in conjunction with work by Aboriginal artists such as Yata Gypsy Yadda, Inyuwa Nampitjinpa and Paji Honeychild Yankarr. The art movement Roar played a key role in this process. Via several of the Roar artists Cobra influences found their way to a number of Aboriginal art centres in the central desert region.

About the museum:
The place in Europe to experience contemporary Aboriginal visual arts from Australia is AAMU in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Like the art itself, the museum is constantly in motion. Every year AAMU presents two to three exhibitions where you can get to know the versatility, power and individuality of Aboriginal art. Each exhibition has a new perspective and shows the different directions and trends that have evolved in this contemporary art form.  The exhibitions highlight leading artists and a wide range of themes. The works on display vary from magnificent paintings on linen and tree-bark paintings to thought-provoking installations and multimedia works by a younger generation of Indigenous artists. In putting exhibitions together the museum draws on a growing network of artists, curators, museums, galleries and private collectors in the Netherlands, Europe and Australia.
The AAMU wants to serve as a platform in Holland and Europe for Aboriginal visual arts and its developments. This also means the museum is emphatically connecting with other contemporary art.
The ambition of the museum is not just to show Aboriginal art. It also gives information and education on the quality and great diversity of this art. Visitors can learn about the similarities and differences between Aboriginal and western visual arts and choose their own point of view regarding Aboriginal art.
The AAMU is recognized by the government of Australia as an important platform for Australian, cultural heritage in Europe.

© Text and image: www.aamu.nl

5 ene. 2011

Ossetia ornamented bowl

Name: Ornamented bowl
Origin: Ossets, North Ossetia, Russia
Date: 20th century
Museum: The Russian Museum of Ethnology
Materials: wood
Comments:
Hospitality is one of the brightest features of the culture of the peoples of the North Caucasus. Guest was offered the best that was in the house, the attention of the hosts was concentrated on him, he was surrounded by the cordial atmosphere. The foremost duty of the host was the providing of the safety of the guest and his belongings. To protect the guest and to help him was at the responsibility of the host even if the guest and the host at that time were enemies. In Circassia there was one very popular story telling about the knight who found his shelter in the family the member of which he had once killed. The knight in his turn could render a service to the enemy. If the guest got killed or was insulted, relatives of the host family and villagers were responsible for this and had to take revenge on the offender.
This custom goes deep into the history and following the historical facts it shouldn't be described only in "sweet" words. Hospitality is the direct consequence of the severe way of life of the mountain inhabitants when a man had to overcome difficulties connected with the climate conditions and with the constant defiance against enemies. That is why it was natural for people living in the mountains to count on relatives and neighbors. However, the guest was under the patronage of the host only during the time when he was living in his house. In the past, the hospitality was of small duration; as the proverb says: guest in a house - three days he's a guest, on the forth - he's a younger brother.
One shouldn't ask the guest where he came from and why. In the guest room guest stayed in a company of the most respected man in the family, and in this case all people present in the room had to stand. Even if the host was very busy, he had to be with the guest. Host and his familiars tried to satisfy any guest's wish and that requested from him response modesty. Guest was offered the best food and if he stayed over the night a sheep was killed even despite the fact that there was fresh meat in the house. Before his departure, guest was given hot food including, for example, pies which Ossets served with beer. Guest was expected to be modest and able to keep up the conversation.
The Adygh peoples traditionally built up special houses for the guests beyond the territory of the homestead. Sometimes around the guest house the look of the homestead was recreated. It was impolite for the guest to enter the homestead.
In the medieval Ossetia large and influential families as well as the nobles built castles which consisted of house-fortress, farm buildings and arming towers. Tower had three floors, the top floor was left for the guests. In the modern Osset house when it is possible a special room is given to the guests. At the countryside a separate building could be designed for the guests. The guest room was always decorated with the best things. Its interior included prayer rugs, armour, musical instruments.

© Photos and text: www.eng.ethnomuseum.ru

3 ene. 2011

Senegalese Thieboudienne

Thieboudienne, or ceebu jen, is a traditional dish from Senegal. It is made from fish, rice and tomato sauce. Its other ingredients are onions and peanut oil. All these ingredients are found in abundance in the country. The name of the dish comes from Wolof, meaning rice and fish.


Thieboudienne (rice and Fish Stew)
Ingredients:
3 lb sea bass tail
2 lb broken rice
½ lb pound pumpkin
½ lb sweet cassava
9 cups cold water
1x6 ounce can tomato paste
3” piece smoked fish (any firm white will do)
12 small okra pods
5 small purple turnips
5 carrots
4 sweet potatoes
2 large onions
2 scallions
2 small eggplants
2 large cloves garlic
1 small green cabbage
1 bunch parsley
1 fresh bird chilli
1 habanero chilli
4 Tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp salt

How to cook it:
Dissolve the salt in the water.
Prepare the vegetables as follows:
Peel and dice both the pumpkin and cassava into 1 inch pieces. Wash, top and tail the okra pods, making sure you have no hard pods. Quarter the turnips and sweet potatoes. Peel the carrots and cut into 1 inch rounds. Cut the eggplants into 1 inch slices. Cut the cabbage into 8 pieces. Mince the onions.
Prepare the sea bass by cleaning and cut into 1 ½ inch thick steaks, score the steaks with a sharp knife.
Prepare the stuffing for the sea bass steaks by placing the parsley, garlic, bird chilli and scallions in a food processor and pulsing until they form a thick paste. When the paste is ready poke the stuffing into the slits, previously made by scoring the sea bass steaks
Heat the oil in a large stockpot and brown the onion. Add the smoked fish, tomato paste and ¼ cup of the salted water. When the onion has browned, place the sea bass in the pot with the onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining water. Bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat. Add the vegetables as follows: pumpkin, sweet cassava, turnips, cabbage, sweet potatoes, eggplants, carrots, okra and habanero chilli. Remove and reserve the habanero chilli when the Thiebou Dienn is spicy enough to taste.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the sea bass steaks, keeping them whole, and place them on a serving platter. Cover with a little of the cooking liquid and keep warm.
Cook the Thiebou Dienn for a further 15 minutes, thereafter removing the vegetables and arranging them on a platter. Keep warm.
Reserve 2 cups of the liquid to make the sauces.
Bring the remaining liquid to the boil, add the rice, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is done.
While the rice is cooking, pulverize the habanero chili and add it to 1 cup of the reserved liquid. Heat, stirring occasionally, and place it in a sauce dish.
Heat the remaining cup of liquid and place in a separate sauce dish.
When ready to serve, mound the rice on one platter and the fish and vegetables on another. Alternatively, place the rice in a deep dish, arrange the vegetables and fish on top, and eat Senegalese-style with your right hand (only!) or with a large spoon.
Add, whichever sauce you prefer, the one with or without the habanero chili according to your taste.
You and your guests or family will undoubtedly find this Senegalese Rice and Fish Stew well worth the trouble taken in it's preparation. Apart from using canned tomato paste, the recipe is the same as that which would have been taken to America and the Caribbean by slaves transported from Senegal, one of the areas, heavily raided by slave traders.
Serves 8-10

© Text and image: Wikipedia / Recipe: www.africhef.com

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