Just a quick post tonight, we have to be up at 03:30 to fly to the jungle to the amazing Tihkal. Although there is more to share, I only have time tonight to show you our visit to the Jade museum in Antigua.
It was founded by Mary Lou Ridinger and her husband, pioneers of rediscovering the Jade trade in Guatemala. She told us of her journey that included resistance, corruption, ethical choices, and much more – a truly inspiring tale. She was passionate about the entire thing and performs a lot of campaigning for a fair system for the Guatemalan people.
We got a great overview of Jade itself and the importance to the Ancient Maya, followed by issues surrounding it in modern times. The replicas of antiquities and modern creations the museum produces were incredible – the sign in part of the building said “Please DO handle the Jade” 🙂 She told us it brought luck, and were invited to stroke an Imperial Jade stone that was worth $13m!!!!
It is an extremely hard material, something that makes the artifacts the Maya produced even more amazing. I was particularly taken with the fact that it last for over 400 thousand years and has a higher tensile strength that steel; in fact when surface mining they have replace their hammers each year.
Now all I need to do is find a spare few thousand pounds to afford all of the wonderful items they had for sale!
Wendy spotted a wonderful poem: