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Jackson State Masks of Michoacán Exhibit & Community Reception

By Mark Brooks

Event Details

Date(s) & Time(s)::

Daily at 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM from November 1, 2012 until November 16, 2012

Location: Jackson State CC; 2046 N. Parkway, Jackson 38301; Library

Phone: (731) 424-3520 ext. 50252

Email: mwadley@jscc.edu

Link: http://www.jscc.edu

Event Description

November stands to be an exciting month for art lovers, as Jackson State Community College will be hosting the Masks of Michoacán exhibit scheduled to run from November 1-16, 2012, in the JSCC library. There will be a community reception at noon on Friday, November 2, that is free and the community is cordially invited to attend.

The masks, which represent all aspects of Michoacán culture, are made from wood, clay, metal, stone, feathers and vegetable by-products, often including real hair, horns and teeth. Some believe the masks exert spiritual power, magical protection or supernatural powers over those who use them during a dance.

Jaime Hernandez Diaz, Secretary of Culture of the Government of the State of Michoacán, wrote: “An essential element of human ritual, these masks are particularly important because each one of them has played a role in ceremonial dances within communities that continue to keep alive the festivities and traditions inherited from their ancestors. This collection helps us disseminate our popular culture, and represents the purest expression of power and freedom that dancers take on while wearing the masks in celebrations unique to each community throughout the state of Michoacán.”

These priceless wooden masks being featured in the exhibit are being loaned to various colleges through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) to Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) schools across the state. When they depart Jackson State, the treasures will be transported to their next destination, Motlow State Community College in Middle Tennessee.

November 2 happens to be Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Therefore, in conjunction with the masks exhibit, the JSCC Spanish Club will also have a display on showcase in the library of an ofrenda, a traditional Mexican altar, with food and flowers. This is an annual celebration of The Day of the Dead for the JSCC Spanish Club. Guests may also have a chance to sample Pan De Los Muertos, a heavy yeast bread with a bit of anise seed and orange peel, that was prepared by JSCC Spanish class students.

For more information, contact Spanish Club faculty advisor, Mary Wadley, at mwadley@jscc.edu.
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