September 27, 2021

Museum’s 20th Anniversary celebration

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Josie Solomon

Visitors to the Cayman Island’s National Museum’s 20th Anniversary celebrations were in for a spectacular and tasty cultural feast.

Carmen Conolly from East End was there, showing the beautiful things that an expert can make from the dried leaves of silver thatch palm. She had a dress all made of thatch, that was worn earlier this year by East End’s Miss Festival Queen.

Zelmalee Ebanks, all the way from North Side, had a delicious Christmas fruitcake using locally grown star fruit, while a group from the East End United Church had cooked tasty stewed conch and lobster.

The Pink Ladies were selling Christmas crafts they had made themselves for local charities, and Josie Solomon from Bodden Town had a table covered with the bright colours belonging to her traditionally made quilts.

One of the event’s highlight’s was Julia Hydes, (known as “Aunt Julia”), who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. She played her drum, while singing some favourite old-time Caymanian songs such as Munzie Boat in the Sound.

That music was just right for putting visitors in the mood for one of the museums new exhibits, “The Kitchen Dance” which gives a history of the uniquely Caymanian style of music, termed “kitchen” because it was traditionally played around the separate kitchen or caboose of a home.

The other new exhibit pays tribute to one of Cayman’s great entrepreneurs, Linton Tibbetts, owner of Cox Lumber, who died earlier this year.

George Town Primary School quadrille dancers

George Town Primary School children gave a demonstration of quadrille dancing in beautiful traditional dress.

Dr. Peggy Leshikar-Denton, who took over directorship of the museum in October, said: “I want the museum to come into focus in the community and become an integral part of the community, and to blossom. Many people don’t realise we have a collection of 8,000 objects, so we want to be able to not only store and exhibit these artifacts but to care for them and conserve them. Since the original opening, the museum has achieved a great deal and we are ready to build on that foundation to make a brighter future.”

“In the past we have been happy to work with volunteers and we would welcome volunteers in the future. We really want people to become members and be a part of it.”

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(Photos by: Christopher Tobutt)


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