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Appalling Taino exhibition at Institute of Jamaica

Published:Saturday | August 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:My heart is extremely heavy. As a person interested in the arts and culture of Jamaica, I decided to visit the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), an institution known for its wide collection of Jamaican artefacts.

I was particularly interested in viewing a Taino exhibition that one of my friends recommended seeing on her trip several months ago. I was frankly shocked and dismayed at what I saw: numerous, numerous grammatical errors. No acknowledgement of copyright where use of images was concerned (and what seemed to me images culled from Google and no acknowledgement of origin).

There were also several bits of inaccurate information on the Tainos as well.

major offence

As an academic in the field of history, this was a major offence. An exhibition is, in and of itself, a publication that must be documented and copyright principles acknowledged. This is inexcusable. Also, the images used were not of Jamaican Tainos, but seemed to be more of North American natives.

Upon reading the storyboards, not enough was mentioned on the Tainos. I left with the feeling that the Tainos never existed.

What is happening at IOJ museums? These exhibitions are meant to educate the people, particularly the children of Jamaica, in interesting and accurate ways. This exhibition needs to be redone. Questions need to be asked as to why this was allowed to go up at all.

I expect better from the Institute of Jamaica.


St Catherine