With summertime dwindling and school looming, this weekend is the perfect time to remind kids of all ages that learning can be fun, inspiring, international and shared by everyone in the family.
The Royal BC Museum’s feature exhibition, Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises, is designed to accommodate a broad range of learning styles and instincts, with interactive puzzles for kids and breath-taking art and artifacts that will surprise and delight visitors of all ages.
The original Maya artifacts–some leaving Guatemala for the first time ever–and accompanying information have sparked intergenerational conversations and learning opportunities among visitors since the exhibition opened in May 2019.
The exhibition, a joint venture between the Royal BC Museum and the international travelling exhibition firm MuseumsPartner, is designed to delight, engage and provoke questions (and selfies, naturally).
Visitors are able to handle a heavy ball used in pitzil, the Mesoamerican ball game so beloved by the ancient Maya. The creation of the original balls, which would endure violent hip-checking and bouncing against monolithic rockfaces, relied on the Maya’s sophisticated botanical decision, some 2500 years ago, to mix raw latex with morning glory sap to create a stable form of rubber.
Museum staff and volunteers also host an “animation station” in the exhibition that features cacao, beloved by both ancient and contemporary Maya. Cacao pods are out for kids and adults to touch, generating lots of interest and conversation; many visitors have expressed surprise that they don’t know where their favourite chocolate bars originate and are eager to learn more.
Visitors are also encouraged to learn more about the vibrancy of today’s Maya peoples. The exhibition highlights the 30 Maya languages that are still spoken today by almost half the population of Guatemala.
Principal lending partners of the exhibition include La Ruta Maya Foundation and the Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología (MUNAE), with support from the Guatemala Ministry of Culture. Destination Greater Victoria is the Lead Marketing Partner and Paladin Security is a Community Partner.
To purchase tickets to the exhibition, visit: www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/maya. Stay updated on exhibition news with the Royal BC Museum blog, or via social media: #RBCMMaya