Mayborn Museum Complex Extends Traveling Exhibit

News Photo 3687
Roiru Ri headdress, on exhibit as part of "Feathered Treasures: Ceremonial Objects of the Amazon" through Oct. 8 at Baylor's Mayborn Museum.
Aug. 2, 2006

by Sarah Levine, director of marketing, Mayborn Museum, (254) 710-2517

Summer visitors to Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex have been wowed by the rare and beautiful traveling exhibit, "Feathered Treasures: Ceremonial Objects of the Amazon." The museum is pleased to announce it has extended this marvelous exhibit at the Mayborn until Oct. 8.

On loan from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the collection consists of headdresses, vests and other ornamentations made from the brilliantly colored feathers of tropical birds found in the Amazon Rainforest. The exhibit also includes exotic full body costumes worn during traditional ceremonies, such as the naming of a baby, rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood, healing the sick and burial of the dead. The artifacts are made from natural materials found in the rainforest, such as feathers, bark cloth, beeswax, clay, shells, raw latex and iridescent beetle carapaces. Most of these extraordinary items were made for a single ceremonial use and then were discarded to decompose in the rainforest.

To augment the exhibit, the museum is offering cell phone tours, a new technology that has only recently been introduced into museums. Baylor's Mayborn Museum in Waco is one of the first in Texas to provide this exciting technology to visitors. In addition, the museum offers visitors Podcasts about the exhibit that they can listen to before they visit or download to their iPod or other MP3 player to listen to while they tour the museum. There also is a simple flash game on the museum's website ( that allows children to color their own headdress, vest or body costume as they learn about the tribes of the Amazon.

"We have been very impressed by the way the Mayborn has taken this exhibit and enhanced it through technology and excellent exhibit installation. The reception it has had in Waco has been overwhelming," said Lisa Ribori, director of collections at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "One of our missions is to introduce people to other cultures and environments to make them better citizens of the planet, and certainly having this exhibit at the Mayborn has helped us achieve that goal."

This distinctive exhibit is made possible through a generous grant from the Baylor/Waco Foundation and a matching gift from the Thomas E. and Emilyne Weed Anding Foundation.

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