General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Sep 2017/8 Reed
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Presione para ir a la versión en español Moctezuma exhibition comes to London’s British Museum

Mexicolore, Moctezuma, and the British Museum

It’s been 6 years since ‘Aztecs’ came to the Royal Academy in London. Here we go again, with the latest Aztec blockbuster, ‘Moctezuma Aztec Ruler’ at the British Museum, from September 24th 2009 to January 24th. 2010. We’ll be there, delivering educational programmes throughout the exhibition, and reporting on the main events linked to it as they happen...

With a school, 2009 (‘Cultures in Contact’ project)
With a school, 2009 (‘Cultures in Contact’ project) (Click on image to enlarge)

Feedback about the Moctezuma Sleepover workshops from Claire Johnstone, BM Families Education Manager: ‘Thank you so, so much for Saturday. All the feedback we have had has singled your sessions out as superb!! So thank you and Graciela for all your hard work and enthusiasm.’

Mexicolore are old hands at working at the British Museum (BM). Not only have we run many workshops for schools and families there (or in schools linked to BM projects), you may not be aware that we were invited to run a Mexican music and dance workshop with a local Camden primary school in the (then) new Clore Education Centre in front of HM The Queen back in 2000 when the C E Centre and Great Court were inaugurated...

Participants in one of the ‘A New World’ sessions, 2007
Participants in one of the ‘A New World’ sessions, 2007 (Click on image to enlarge)

We’ve led workshops in the Mexico Gallery, in the BP Lecture Theatre, in schools (via outreach programmes) and in the Great Court itself: in 2007 we were invited to run open-access sessions on Aztec culture in support of the exhibition ‘A New World’. Here you can see some of the results...

The conch shell was an important Aztec announcing instrument...
The conch shell was an important Aztec announcing instrument... (Click on image to enlarge)

Our forte, as we hope will by now be apparent, is direct participation by children in all our sessions, using costumes, cooking/work tools, codices and other historical artefacts, musical instruments, and a wealth of visual clues. These - and more - will be very much in evidence at Moctezuma events. We will even be introducing/demonstrating traditional Aztec medical treatments - greatly respected by the Spanish...

The Great Court plays host to the ancient Mesoamerican ritual ballgame...
The Great Court plays host to the ancient Mesoamerican ritual ballgame... (Click on image to enlarge)

Our involvement, alongside partner performing group Tunkul, will be significant. Here are some highlights with dates for your diaries:-
Introductory workshops during the Community Preview (Sunday 20 Sep)
Workshops for schools (Thursdays: Nov 5, 12, 26, Dec 10, Jan 14)
Family sessions on the Aztec Calendar (Monday 26 Oct, Thursday 29 Oct, Friday 30 Oct)
Family Day workshops (Saturday 5 Dec)
Sleepover activities for children/families (Saturday 21 Nov)
• Performing Aztec music (concert with the group Tunkul and the Coro Cervantes choir) (Friday 16 Oct)
• Performing Aztec music to accompany recitals of Aztec poetry (with the group Tunkul) (Friday 27 Nov)
Drop-in sessions on Aztec music (with the group Tunkul) (Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 Oct)
• Hands-on sessions on Aztec musical instruments (with the group Tunkul) as part of the Day of the Dead festival events (Sunday 1 Nov)
Workshops on Aztec pictograms as part of the Day of the Dead festival events (Sunday 1 Nov)

‘Opening people’s eyes, ears, hearts and minds...’
‘Opening people’s eyes, ears, hearts and minds...’ (Click on image to enlarge)

A passer-by at one of our 2007 BM sessions, Gerv Leyden, a Nottingham University Lecturer and Associate Tutor for Educational Psychologists, wrote to us afterwards:-
I thought your use of Aztec music was quite excellent. It changed the pace of the workshop and then gradually energised the process, on which you were able to build for the rest of the session. It was an excellent workshop, informative, expressing values and opening people’s eyes, ears, hearts and minds. Congratulations!

Look out for Mexicolore at Moctezuma!
Look out for Mexicolore at Moctezuma! (Click on image to enlarge)

Some of the upcoming Moctezuma highlights that we will be reporting on:-
Public lectures by the likes of Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, Leonardo López Luján, Richard Townsend, Gordon Brotherston, Sir John Elliott, Alfredo López Austín...
Aztec Music performed by Tribu in the Great Court
Day of the Dead celebration
Food Study Day, stone-carving and textiles workshops, codex animation sessions
Conference on Turquoise
and more...
We look forward very much to seeing you there!

After the Day of the Dead celebrations Mexicolore/Tunkul were the only artists mentioned in the Guardian Online review (2 Nov ‘09). Skeletons on stilts danced in the smoke that wafted from fiery braziers. Babies wore skeleton costumes and children feasted on sugar skulls while a Mariachi band played. Elsewhere, a musical anthropologist had people singing along to an Aztec dirge. Read the article and see us in the BM video (links below: advance to 3 minutes ‘in’).

Moctezuma Symposium 2009

The Life and Times of Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin

British Museum website for ‘Moctezuma - Aztec Ruler’ exhibition
Guardian article
See Ian/Tunkul on the British Museum Day of the Dead video (at 3 mins. in...)
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