When I went to the Emory Museum showcase, I was very intrigued by all the Native American objects they had from ancient times in many Latin American countries like Costa Rica and Panama. Since I am from Panama I was curious to see how Native Americans lived. It was really interesting to see the unique way those Native Americans took their creativity to create something different. The Pedestal Plates were an example. These are elevated plates that have different designs on them. I’m not sure where they got their designs for those plates, but today they really do look a lot Panamanian to me. The Native Americans in Panama create things like these, and their designs are usually very pretty and very unique.
The section on Costa Rica had a lot of interesting objects. One that caught my attention was the Jaguars on Vessels. These pieces were so creative. The detail that was put into it made it more impressive. The artist took his time to construct something that emphasized the origin of the object. The object even appears to be standing still but at the same time, it is capable of walking and shoot out vessels-in my imagination.
The Mesoamerican art had something that sparked my interest. I don’t remember the name of it. What I liked about this well was that it looked so rustic but fancy at the same time. The man must be a portrayal of someone who is serving somebody else. I can’t really say that it’s a slave or a god that serves his people. His serious expression makes me think that he doesn’t really care about serving, he’s just doing his job.
The Roman Funerary Arts were very interesting. I couldn’t believe how much thought was put into creating a cinerary urn. They designed the urns with things that emphasized the after life-like the underworld. Once people died, their ashes were placed in there. Their names and their lives were written on the urn and then the urn was put in a cinerarium. The details in each urn reflect how majestic the Roman Empire truly was.
The Egyptian art was the best part to me. I had never seen mummies. I liked that those mummy caskets were so structurally big and very fancy. Even though the years have passed and they’re decaying, one can still see how important this was to the ancient Egyptians. From my whole walk around this gallery, I realized how important death was for ancient Egyptians. They emphasized the Afterlife in everything that they do. They had a boat model that served to tell the story of people and what they did when they were alive. The boat replaced the drawings on the walls. It was put inside the tomb with the deceased person. One can see that some of the mummy caskets have more detail than others. This to me served to show which person was more important than the other. They had other things that protected the dead like “Anubis and the Four Sons of Horus.” They really did express the importance of life after death.
The art that blew my mind was the African art. It first started with “Mami Wata” which translates into “Mother of Water.” It was the first thing that I saw and I knew I was entering a different gallery. The sculpture of Mami Wata is very upright and she seems to have control over the snake that surrounds her body. She looks at ease and doesn’t look scared at all. Mami Wata is a spirit that is widely followed in African countries. She bestows good fortune and material wealth to her followers. I really thought that was interesting. I also liked to see the masks. The masks reflected how much interaction with earth these people had. They have many of the elements we find in earth and my guess is that they were made this way for the hunters to camouflage themselves from the animals and from their enemies. I think that what made me like this gallery was the fact that they didn’t focused so much on death. They focused on what it was like to live as a hunter or as a believer of something. It wasn’t so much about the Afterlife.