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This years theme for the annual Altos de Chavón museum of archaeology summer camp, “Exploring the past”, was full of interesting and fun activities for the children involved in it. These children were immersed into the Taino culture as well as the African slaves that were brought by the Spaniards; the history of our beautiful island La Hispaniola.
From the 7th to the 18th of July, our beautiful children were involved in learning activities that taught them about very important aspects of our homeland (the Dominican Republic) and past cultures.
The children got an insight into the Taino way of life by participating in planting guayiga in a conuco and putting together a scarecrow to protect their crops, decorating their Taino friends (Yaya, Guao and Caonabo) so they will be prepared to dance the areito, as well as making necklaces for themselves. The children saw an example of the Taino burial system and how the Taino community used to build their huts.
The youngest member of the camp
The children also received a visit from archaeologist Diana Peña who explained to them the method used by archaeologists to find objects and date which time period the objects are from. The children also engaged in traditional games and activities such as playing with marbles and flying kites.
Another important happening the children learned about is the arrival of the African slaves which came to this island forced by the Spanish settlers. The children learned the story of how the Spaniards brought the Africans and saw an image of what the first sugar mill looked like, also they made their very own African masks with cardboard, dried almonds and leaves that they collected from the surroundings.
Ornithologist Kate Wallace teaching the children how to draw birds
The children also spent time with ornithologist Kate Wallace or “Tía Katy” as they like to call her. Mrs. Wallace took the children bird watching and taught them how to identify birds by the way they sing. She also taught them how to draw birds themselves, which the children displayed proudly and happily.
The following collection of photos were taken during the Summer Camp Exploring the Past at the Altos de Chavón Regional Museum of Archaeology, from July 7th to July 18th, 2014: