The Cayman Islands National Museum (CINM) celebrated its 31st anniversary at its annual Looky Ya! event on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
This year’s Looky Ya! “Old Time Days Come Back Again: How We Used to Live” was a full-day extravaganza of indoor and outdoor events and recalled the highlights of the Cayman era.
Held along Seafarers Way (formerly Harbor Drive), Goring Avenue and in the museum itself, the event evoked the sights, sounds and smells of how Caymanians once lived and celebrated.
Vendors offered a range of products such as thatched work items, handmade jewelry, traditional wompers, and mouth-watering homemade juices, jams, cakes and preserves. Local cooks competed for first place in the Caiman-style beef, turtle stew and cassava cake competitions.
The family event encouraged visitors to walk around and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Many took the opportunity to take a free tour of the historic courthouse and exhibits organized by the museum.
Look ! Ya, was moderated by former CINM board member Eziathamae Bodden, who also chaired the prayer and conducted the national song. After welcoming remarks from the museum director, Dr. Peggy Lashikar-Denton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CINM, Mr. Craig Merren presented the museum’s annual pepper rent – a coil of thatch rope – to the Minister through Interim of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage, Isaac Rankine.
Sharing his remarks, the acting minister said:
The museum holds a very special place as the preeminent center of the country dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the human and natural history and culture of the Caymans. Through his wonderfully curated exhibits and artifacts, he does a remarkable job in conveying and contextualizing the lived experience and geographic features of the islands.
On behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the government, I congratulate the staff and management of the Museum on this anniversary and for the commitment, talent and creativity they bring to their work.
Look yeah! opened at 10 a.m. with traditional background music and ended at 6 p.m. with a performance by the group CayNRG.
Look yeah! also featured live performances including making your own thatch rope with MM. Jeralow Rankine and Edney McLean, and the opportunity to try out old wheeled carts, used by young children in previous decades.
Visitors also enjoyed lively performances by the UCCI Junkanoo Performers, which evoked old-time revelers partying in neighborhoods near Christmas. UCCI Pandemix Steel Pan and CI Folk Singers provided musical medleys at the social distance event.
Mr. Curtis Barnett gave a reading from his Caymanian Epics book and the Christmas Jive Dancers wowed the crowds.
After the event, Dr Lashikar-Denton said: “We are especially grateful to the ministry for their enthusiasm and support on the ground.
“We appreciated the special remarks of the Acting Minister, Mr. Isaac Rankine, including the acceptance of the Pepper Lease, demonstrating the IGC’s support for the museum and its vital role for the nation. The Museum is a non-profit entity responsible for preserving and interpreting artefacts of national and regional significance. We could not achieve our goals without all the people and groups who made this day possible. “