Art exhibit – the native americans who survived the Spanish Colonial period

Here is a new exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art:

Children of the Plumed Serpent: the Legacy of Quetzalcoatl

You may remember the name Quetzalcoatl as the so-called white-bearded God in Atzec lore. Which Hernán Cortés was supposed to represent and then use to his advantage when he conquered the greatest empire of the Americas.

That understanding is in some dispute but what is not are the enemies of the Aztecs. The Nahua, Mixtec, and Zapotec kingdoms were resisting the Aztecs when the Spaniards arrived. They quickly allied with Spain and established a thriving culture, language, and trade that survives to this day.

These cultures have a strong history and a powerful modern presence in Mexico and the United States. This exhibit presents artifacts from their ancient and colonial history. A fascinating look at Native Americans who somewhat escaped the ravages of colonialism.

The exhibition examines the art and material objects of late pre-Columbian and early colonial societies across Mexico to explore Quetzalcoatl’s role as founder and benefactor of the Nahua-, Mixtec-, and Zapotec-dominated kingdoms of southern Mexico. These socially and culturally complex communities successfully resisted both Aztec and Spanish subjugation, flourishing during an era of unprecedented international entrepreneurship and cultural innovation. On view are painted manuscripts (codices), polychrome ceramics, textiles, and exquisite works of gold, turquoise, and shell that reflect the achievements of the Children of the Plumed Serpent.

 

Learn more about the exhibit – LACMA: Children of the Plumed Serpent

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Profiles of Southern California marine species – Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Here is a great resource for learning what is hanging out in the coastal waters of Southern California.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium – Southern California Species

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is home to more than 200 species of animals that live in and around the waters of Southern California.

With its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is uniquely suited to its leadership role in marine science education, aquaculture research and community recreation.  The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world.

Species

Sand Dollar – You can’t spend these dollars, they are relatives to sea stars.

 

Garibaldi – the California State marine fish and may live as long as 12 years.

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Abalone, near endangered, once enjoyed by our parents…what will we pass on to our kids?

The next time someone asks you to drive less or recycle, try not to think about how much that annoys you. Instead think about the world that your children or grandchildren will live in. Will it be better or worse than the one you enjoy now?

Many signs are pointing to it being worse. One of those indications comes from an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune discussing the incoming extinction of Abalone on the West Coast.

..baby boomers who grew up peeling them off rocky outcroppings so that the practice became part of California beach culture.

“You used to be able to get an abalone sandwich for lunch when I first got here in the early 1970s,” Butler said.

I’ve never eaten an Abalone or even seen one. Am I already a part of that generation experiencing a worse world?

Abalones were a staple of coastal life for centuries — a nearshore fishery once topped 5.4 million pounds — until they were all but wiped out by disease, overharvest, predatory otters, poaching and habitat destruction.

By 1997, state officials had shut down all abalone fisheries south of San Francisco in hopes of saving the species.

In many ways the answer is yes, the environment passed down to me is worse than it was before.

The good news is that the solution defies generations. It requires the passion and motivation of young scientists combined with the wealth, political policies, and experience of older, often retired, specialists and philanthropic individuals.

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently formed a task force to save the black abalone, which was listed as federally endangered in 2009. A recovery plan is expected in about two years, though scientists said it’s complicated by poaching in the United States, limited harvest enforcement in Mexico and the potential that climate change will speed the spread of disease in the population.

There is still an abundance of hope, but first we must overcome our balking at minor inconveniences.

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