Sunday, February 12, 2012

Captivated in Curacao

Downtown Curacao pontoon bridge was open when we arrived
I believe that Curacao is a fascinating, historic and lovely island with much to offer. There are bridges, a floating market, waterways, cafes, delicious Dutch food and beautifully coloured buildings. The pedestrian pontoon bridge, partially seen in the photo above is supported by 16 pontoons and swings open using two ship motors. This allows boat traffic to pass through. While the bridge is open, water taxis transport people across the waterway.

On this trip, we decided to go to view the Kura Hulanda Museum on the grounds of the lovely Kura Hulanda resort in the heart of Willemstad. The museum is dedicated to the history of the slave trade, concentrating heavily on the time when Africans were transported to the Caribbean. It shows some of the African influences in the current Caribbean culture. This was an amazing few hours.

She sat, waiting to greet us at the grounds entrance.

Our brochure said admission was $9, but we were actually only charged $7 a piece...worth every cent. The sculpture found in the centre of the grounds depicts a slave face from the front, and the shape of the continent of Africa from the side view.

We also enjoyed the vegetation, the birds and the landscaping. The photo on the left shows a banana plant and a representation of chained slaves along the wall. On the right we spotted a yellow bird not too high up in a banana tree.

The interior of the museum consisted of endless displays. There were sculptures, costumes, carvings and documents. We saw a scale model of a ship and an example of the tiny size of the hold where the slaves huddled, cramped and unable to stretch their bodies during their long journey.

Not all slaves were black nor were they all men. This sculpture was of a pair of female slaves, one black and one white, comforting each other while waiting to be sold.


Musical instruments of African origin and display cases containing stunning ivory and stone carvings were in two of the sections of the museum.

There were modern day reminders of injustice and abuse of people as well. Samples of KKK "uniforms", news articles and documents were on display. I could not bring myself to photograph those. It didn't seem right.

The outside of the slave museum was rich with art...sculpted faces showing the torment and sadness of generations of people.

A lot of time, expense, energy and ownership of the past has gone into developing this excellent museum.


No comments:

Post a Comment