The Arawak Taino Museum in White Marl, St. Catherine.
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The Arawak museum at White Marl in St. Catherine is now reopened under a new name - The "Taino Museum". Having been closed since 1995 because of termite infestation. The Institute of Jamaica reopened the museum on Friday May 18, which was celebrated as World Museum Day.
White Marl is the site of one of the largest known Taino settlements in the island. A script with new information has been written for the museum to make it more user friendly. Information out of The Institute is that since it's reopening, the museum has attracted some 3,000 student visitors from surrounding communities and as far away as Ocho Rios.
Close community relationship is being emphasised by the Institute, with a view to educating community members about Jamaica's history. To this end, a workshop was recently completed in Spanish Town focusing on Emancipation. Over 40 students participated.
Ongoing educational activities for school groups are being planned to help children understand the wider Jamaica and the impact of the Tainos on Jamaica. Other plans for the museum, a representative from the Institute says, include a Taino festival next year as well as 'jam sessions' "so that it is not only a space for history but a space for the present - a viable space for the community so that they can earn a little too as they learn of the history."
There are presently two tour guides at the museum and opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Most of the artefacts in the museum were excavated from various points in the island with a few pieces brought in from other Caribbean islands.
For further information, contact:
Institute of Jamaica
12 East Street Tel. 922-0620
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