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Casa del Alabado: Animals and The Pre-Columbian World

Temporary exhibition: “Animals and The Pre-Columbian World” 

The Pre-Columbian Art Museum Casa del Alabado is pleased to invite you to the temporary exhibition “Animals and the Pre-Columbian World”, which will remain open to the public until October 13, 2019. 

Through a selection of archeological pieces, elaborated by virtuous artisans from ten societies of pre-Columbian Ecuador, this exhibition aims to contemplate animals as entities that transcend time. Its protagonist presence in whistle bottles, plates, pots, and figurines, opens a window into the thoughts of the ancient inhabitants of Ecuador, deeply determined by daily interaction with the animal kingdom. It is also a question of reflecting on the importance of native species in past and present ecosystems. 

María Patricia Ordóñez, the curator of the Casa del Alabado Museum, has gathered twelve species that inhabit the earth, trees, water, and air, to distribute them into two exhibition rooms: day and night. The diurnal space presents monkeys, canids, deer, fish, insects, and mollusks. While the nocturnal space is occupied by felines, bats, snakes, toads, caimans, and owls. 

An approach from archaeology, biology, and art, allows us to travel through the natural, cultural and symbolic conditions of animals in the ancient world. The meticulous ceramic imitation of the marine snail (Strombus alatus) and its acoustic chambers for the creation of trumpets in the Sierra Norte will be appreciated. Also, the nocturnal mysticism that enveloped the jaguars, felines of great physical and spiritual strength. The recurrence of medium-sized dog representations and short legs that document the existence of the so-called hairless dogs is also explored.  

The recognition of pre-Columbian biodiversity was made possible thanks to the valuable collaboration of the School of Biological Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. The Ecuadorian biologist Rafael Cárdenas (Ph.D. in Ecology and Biodiversity from Pierre & Marie Curie University, France) provided scientific advice for the identification of several species represented. The exhibition includes wildlife photographs taken by PUCE biologists and naturalists, which are accompanied by relevant information on their conservation status.      

Fotografías de: Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers

WWF and PACARI also join to reinforce the importance of biodiversity conservation in our country.   

Place: Casa del Alabado Museum 

Address: Cuenca N1-41 and Bolívar, Quito – Ecuador 

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