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Intangible Heritage through Material Culture: The Journey of an Ecuadorian Boat Seat

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Language Arts And English +9 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

This teaching collection helps students to look closely and think critically by exploring an Ecuadorian boat seat, the first object donated to the National Museum of African History and Culture, and how this tangible object represents the survival and transmission of intangible cultural heritage in the African diaspora. The seat belonged to Débora Nazareno, a descendant of enslaved Africans in Ecuador, and is engraved with Anansi, a popular spider figure in West African folklore. The boat seat was gifted to the museum by her grandson, Juan Garcia Salazar, a renowned Esmeraldan historian. 

Included here are the objects itself, a bilingual video with curator Ariana Curtis, two suggested Thinking Routines - "See, Think, Wonder" and "Unveiling Stories" - from Harvard's Project Zero Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and supporting digital content about the museum display, Maroon communities, Anansi, the oral tradition.

For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, and American History classes

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