An Exhibit of Black Cultural Legacy Artifacts through December 26, 2023
Delray Beach, Fla. – September 10, 2023 – On August 25, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum proudly welcomed a full house to the opening of its latest exhibit, Thresholds, a collection of African artifacts and artwork that mark the milestones of a life journey. The show features pieces from the Spady Museum Collection and special artifacts from the Kay Crawford Collection and the Dr. Cecil Jonas Collection. Thresholds is co-curated by Joanne Hamsptead and Khaulah Naima Nuruddin.
In the exhibit, each carefully curated artifact tells a tale of a “threshold” – such as a birth, initiation, marriage or death – that a person crosses with the assistance and guidance of unique ceremonies, rituals, and artistic expressions.
For example, several cultures throughout Africa practice passage ceremonies for their young people. A component of the rite is represented in the exhibit with pieces of beaded jewelry from the Nigerian Yoruba tribe. The intricately designed jewelry, which are worn by men and women around their waistlines, indicates their crossing of the spiritual threshold into adulthood.
“The ceremony is an important cultural tradition for the Krobo people and is seen as a way of preserving their heritage. It is also an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the growth and development of their young girls,” said Crawford, owner of several pieces in the exhibit.
Other artifacts include fertility figurines, statutes, a Swahili bench, beaded Nigerian crowns, masks, aloalo (funerary pole sculpture from the Madagascar region), and monumental figures, such as Baga snakes, wooden figurines that beckon in a fertile harvest.
Guests will learn about the artifacts’ significance to each of the African cultures they represent and how the engrained rituals were practiced by African people, even as they were dispersed throughout the Diaspora.
“Many of the ceremonies and rituals symbolized by the artifacts in this exhibit made their way to the Americas and are practiced in new ways. Our exploration of the old and implementation in new ways is part of the practice of Sankofa, looking back as we move forward,” said Museum Director Charlene Farrington.
IF YOU GO:
Through December 26, 2023
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
About the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
Opened in 2001, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum is the only cultural center of its kind in Palm Beach County. Located at 170 NW Fifth Avenue in Delray Beach, it is dedicated to showcasing the contributions of the African Diaspora to Florida and the U.S. Programs include exhibitions, museum tours, and community events. Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; Mondays by appointment. Closed Sundays. Admission: $20; Members are free. For more information, call 561-279-8883 or visit www.spadymuseum.com