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Rome Reports

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Vatican inaugurates Amazon exhibit of indigenous objects with Christian symbols

The Amazon synod is over, but to commemorate the Amazon’s values, the Vatican Museums have opened this great exhibit, “Mater Amazonia.”

It is a tour of hundreds of objects showing the richness of the land’s past, the fear of its present, and the hope for its future.

Vatican Museums Director
“Since there are works from those parts of Latin America in our ethnological collection, we found it important to show the attention we give to different cultures; civilizations; and cultural, religious, and spiritual sensibilities, in line with what Pope Francis teaches.”

“Mater Amazonia” exhibit organizer
“There are hundreds of objects from the Amazon. There are objects from daily life, objects used in community houses, as well as objects used for hunting and fishing.”

The most important piece is probably this crown of feathers belonging to the Tucano tribe from Colombia. It has been restored in the Museums.

There are also masks…

ceramic vases…

and musical instruments.

In addition, this exhibit displays objects showing the inculturation of the Gospel.

They are made by indigenous people. They have Christian symbols, for example this wood carving of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Exhibit organizer
“We show a stole used by a priest at Mass. It contains Christian symbols made of bird feathers, tree bark, and fruit.”
“They somehow show the Gospel’s ability to become part of every culture, including those in the Amazon.”

Vatican Museums Director
“I’m most struck by a hammock used by a missionary priest from Consolata in the Amazon.”

In addition to these pieces from five museums, the Vatican displayed the faces of missionary men and women who have given their lives to bring the Christian faith to those lands.

They are the other protagonists of this great exhibit.