Monday, April 23, 2012

maya expo at the rom

So on last last thursday I went to the ROM to see the Maya expo. I did not want to miss it and the week-end was the last day. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed :( Getting out of museum station I saw this (see pic below) and I was like "gawd don't tell me...again???"

school buses lined up!!

I did drop by the ROM during March break for the Maya expo and this was the BIGGEST mistake ever as this is THE time when all kids head to the museum w/ their grand parents and what not. The lineup was huge so I went shopping instead.

This time I was determined to wait and see the expo despite the hoard of kids as it was the last week it was being shown and I would not be free to do it later as I work on week-ends. Thanks god all the kids were already in and it was a short queue for admission.

 where am i?

It was an interesting expo and the clay works by the Mayans are so intricate and lovely. Something that got me wondering is the common theme in all ethnicities/religions world wide about how the creation of the world is a violent process. In addition, the mayan believed that night and day were a daily event of destruction and creation. There was also a section about the famous end of the world in 2012 which is when the Mayan calendar ends.

To be honest when I first saw the paintings by the Mayans, it added to my belief that they were a violent culture: torture/sacrifice of war prisoners, scarification as beauty marks, cutting their tongues to draw blood for sacrifice etc. I was reminded of a comic I read when I was younger about Spaniards who traveled in the mexican jungles and were killed by the aztechs/mayan or sacrificed and how they came to a temple where there was a mountain of sacrificed corpse missing vital organs like the heart. Don't ask me how a kid like me got her hands on that type of comic. It was in "Le petit Spirou" album.

Upon deeper thinking, I realized that it is in human nature to be violent as past wars, holocaust, rape of nankin etc have showed us. It's just some cultural violence are more mediatized in books, tv etc so the Mayan "violence" was in fact no more violent than the vikings etc.. It also showed the Mayan nowadays and it's awesome to see how some managed to keep their ancestral language and culture.
After the Mayan show, I headed to my favorite hall in the ROM: the dinosaurs!!

I am never bored of watching the skeletons resurrected from the past. My only complaint is that at the ROM, the skeletons are not arranged in a way to give you the right "impression" of their sizes. The skeletons are too close to one another, giving a feeling of crowdness when in fact some skeletons are really more impressive in size and structure on their own. 

Also saw the weird specimens from the Burgess shale and unfortunately some of the lights shinning on the rocks were off so I could not really see all the details of their structures. I don't know if the burgess shale specimens are temporary or permanent as I would love to go back and see them again. Paleobiology is sooo coooll. Need to go to redpath museum in Montreal as well. I would love one day to go to Nova Scotia and walk along the Joggins cliffs where they have fossils. It's just too cool, like jumping into the past..just like when i saw fossilized plants at the Don Valley brickworks and yeah the dinosaur provincial park is on my list as well.

Now I just need to find a traveling companion and money :P...


  1. Miguasha in Gaspésie is also famous for its fossils.

    1. thanks! btw what is the cheapest way to go from montreal to ottawa for one day only? i want to go to see the van gogh expo and can meet you if you're free!

    2. well, i guess the bus or train are pretty similar. email me.