Cayman Islands Museum celebrates cultural memories


The Cayman Islands National Museum, celebrating its 22nd anniversary last Saturday, brought to life a host of cultural and historical memories, as Jewel Levy reports for Compass Cayman

The day featured free interactive arts, folk songs and cultural activities presented by local artists, groups and organizations.

In addition to the anniversary celebration, said Maia Muttoo, the museum’s editor and programs specialist, the event paid tribute to the contributions of Capt. Paul Hurlston and other Cayman Islands seamen.

“We hope everyone will have a chance to come and see the new exhibition, ‘Voyages: A Sea Captain’s Legacy,’ she said.

Accepting a coil of thatch rope as symbolic “rent,” Osbourne Bodden, minister of culture, congratulated the museum for its connection to the islands’ history and to seafarers for their part in the development of the islands.

“Since 1919, the museum has built a priceless national collection that represents the cultural history, natural history and art of these islands,” he said.

Mr. Bodden said items in the collection include boats, furniture, textiles, ceramic, musket tools and archaeological materials.

“We have reached a point in our history were we have unhindered access to visual reminders of our past, which allow us to appreciate the beauty of our humble beginnings.”

In addition, Mr. Bodden said the exhibitions at the museum bring to life culture and memories that might be lost if we were not able to save them in this fashion. He also noted that, “In the last century, many Caymanians went to sea to provide a living for their families, and along the way created legions of stories for us to share and remember. Among these mariners was Captain Paul Hurlston, himself a local historian, who we are here today to celebrate … he is true Cayman treasure.”

“We are very pleased with how the celebrations went,” said Ms Muttoo. “We had a really great turnout, and we are thankful to the people, sponsors Fosters Food Fair and the Cayman National Bank for their support.”

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