• JIS News

    The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank (ACIJ/JMB), a division of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), will be staging its annual Open House Programme, from October 27-31.
    Over the five days Jamaicans will be treated to a number of activities including a multimedia exhibition, which will honour the life and legacy of Jamaica’s indigenous people, the Tainos, as well as debate competitions and a lecture.
    Dr. Julian Cresser, Senior Research Fellow at the ACIJ/JMB told JIS News, that he is hoping that the Open House Programme will help to foster greater appreciation and awareness of Jamaica’s cultural heritage.
    “We certainly want Jamaicans to be more aware of their cultural heritage generally and more specifically, we want them to be aware of the contribution that our indigenous ancestors, the Tainos have made to our cultural heritage,” he remarked.
    “We also want to cultivate a greater interest in history generally and from an institutional level, we would like to attract more persons to the IOJ and its various divisions so that these persons can know that these institutions exist, the kind of work they do and that you can learn so much about Jamaica from the various divisions of the IOJ,” he added.
    The multimedia exhibition will open officially on Monday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. in the ACIJ/JMB library, with guest speaker, noted archaeologist and Technical Director of Archaeology at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) Dorrick Gray. A number of artefacts and audio visual presentations will be on display at the exhibition.
    “The exhibition will have poster boards, which contain images and text, which really talk about the Tainos, who they were, what we know about them, their religious practices, political organisation, technological innovation pretty much covering all aspects of their way of life,” Dr. Cresser informed.
    “We will also have a number of artefacts on display, that we have in our own collection, as well as those that we have been kindly loaned by the JNHT. We will also be having a visual presentation which includes video clips on the imagery that we have on the Tainos,” he further revealed.
    The exhibition along with the debates are expected to attract approximately 200 individuals, comprising secondary and tertiary-level students, lecturers, and specially invited guests.
    Pointing out that the entire Open House Programme will be open and free of cost to the public, Dr. Cresser is encouraging Jamaicans to come out and support the initiative.
    “The exhibition will run until the end of November and the public can come in at any time during our business hours and view the exhibition. Our library is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,” he informed while appealing, “So please come out and support the events and learn some more about our history”.
    The ACIJ was formed in the early 1970s to look at Jamaica’s cultural heritage and specifically the African retentions in Jamaica. The JMB was an initiative started by Dr. Olive Lewin in her work in examining folk music in Jamaica. It is an oral history project, which seeks to capture information about Jamaica’s social history, generally through interviews with the country’s senior citizens.
    Both organisations were combined in the 1980s to form one organization under the IOJ, which serves to examine all aspects of Jamaica’s cultural heritage and make this information accessible to the public through its library, as well as exhibitions and outreach programmes.