Wednesday, February 10, 2010

smithsonian: power of chocolate event

this sounds like a fabulous and exciting event. i wish i could be there to attend and support the museum. if you go, you should definitely check out their amazing cafeteria on the first floor.

This Valentine’s weekend, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) celebrates one of the world’s most beloved foods and a treasure of the Americas. The Power of Chocolate explodes in a colorful festival of culture, music, dance, art, science, and, of course, food.

Theobroma cacao was for the Maya and the Aztec peoples, as its Latin name indicates, a “food of the gods.” Guest presenters explore the rich history and ongoing story of chocolate and offer a deeper understanding of cacao and the cultures and communities that have cultivated this valuable crop.

The museum invites visitors to enjoy a tasty assortment of presentations. Spectacular Peruvian scissor dancers compete in endurance, acrobatics, and creativity. Kuna textile artists from Panama and Colombia share the art of making their charming, colorful molas. Hands-on activities encourage young and not-so-young visitors to investigate the Mayan glyph for “cacao,” grind cacao beans, and froth their own hot chocolate. Food demonstrations, a Chocolate Talk
about the science and sustainability of the cacao plant, and one-on-one discussions with indigenous Bolivian cacao growers offer different perspectives on this surprisingly complex subject.

Finally, the museum presents Burwa dii Ebo/The Wind and the Water, a contemporary Kuna coming-of-age story by the Igar Yala Collective of Panama in a Valentine’s evening Dinner and a Movie.

To get a sense of how much fun—and how educational—this weekend can be, take a look at this short video portrait of last year’s Power of Chocolate festival.

For an even sweeter Valentine's weekend at the museum, please print this coupon and present it to a cashier for a 10% discount at the museum's award-winning Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe.

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