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In This Issue: Applied Archaeology in Peru, New Graduate Assistants at Chucalissa and Rachel Clark, Green Fee Intern
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Chucalissa Anoachi 

August 2014

Volume 8, Number 8

Applied Archaeology in Peru

Dr. Robert Connolly Discusses His Summer Work in Peru: Community Outreach Needs in Hualcayan and Memphis Aren't As Different As You Might Think

My Summer in Huaylas, Peru, 2014, Robert Connolly
I have posted several times about my field season in Peru this past summer. Here is a Slideshare summary of the work (complete with pictures of cute children). Although I often say that the community outreach in Hualcayan, Peru is comparable to the outreach of the C.H. Nash Museum here in Memphis, upon reflection today, I am even more impressed with the similarities:

 - Both projects involve outreach to underserved communities. In Southwest Memphis, the largely blue-collar, African-American community is located in an industrial and business zone where corporate interests consistently trump residential community development. In Peru, rural communities such as Hualcayan are considerably underserved in basic social and infrastructure services when compared to nearby towns.

 - Both communities seek a recognition of both their heritage and place in the broader culture. I have posted before about how this recognition is played out in Southwest Memphis around issues of military service, landmark preservation and community history. In Hualcayan this summer, the same sentiments were strongly expressed in both words and actions. Last year, I asked PIARA founder and co-director Rebecca Bria if the Hualcayan community was really interested in a museum, or more in the economic development that a museum could generate. She immediately replied that five years ago, a museum to showcase Hualcayan's cultural heritage was at the top of the agenda that community leaders requested of PIARA. This summer, we addressed that long-standing need in opening the first iteration of a museum. Examples of the community sentiment around their cultural heritage was also expressed this summer in the stated need for a written document that records the community history, the interest in developing a craft workshop based on their cultural traditions, and the student's creation of a modern quipu to record their individual stories and place in the community. The very hand-written minutes and signing of ledger books by speakers and participants in community meetings speak to the importance of recorded history in Hualcayan.

 - The list goes on...

I enjoy today understanding how these experiences operationalize for me concepts like co-creation, the participatory museum, community asset and stakeholder. As well, I understand and am better able to explore and explain applied archaeology as a discipline with value for communities.

Perhaps greater than any other past work, my experiences in Southwest Memphis and Hualcayan, Peru allow me to answer challenges or questions posed during my early academic training 30 years ago:

*from Patricia Essenpreis - If you can't explain why the public's tax dollars should support your research, you might as well go home.

*and from Barry Isaac - Why is your research more important than eating a plate of worms?


This article was originally published on Archaeology, Museums and Outreach August 25, 2014. 

Chucalissa's Newest Green Fee Intern

Meet Rachel Clark!

Rachel Clark, right, designed and executed a butterfly garden in the mound plaza area at Chucalissa this past summer. Pictured with Carmello Burks.
Rachel Clark has been awarded the Green Fee Internship as a student at the University of Memphis, and we are thrilled that she will be working at the C.H. Nash Museum this fall!

What is a Green Fee internship, you may ask? It is an educational/work experience that promotes sustainability in multiple areas including energy efficiency, utility conservation, environmental protection and recycling. These interns work at a variety of community sites like Bridges, Memphis Botanic Garden, International Paper and Keep Tennessee Beautiful doing all sorts of exciting project work. We are very excited to have Rachel at Chucalissa this semester!


Rachel is currently working on an undergraduate degree in History with an intended December 2014 graduation. Afterwards, she plans to pursue graduate school studying environmental history, the study of how people affect the planet and how the planet affects civilization. She plans to learn about and eventually teach people how primitive farming practices can be used today to avoid destroying the land. 

At Chucalissa this fall, Rachel plans on harvesting our Three Sisters and Southwest Memphis community gardens. She will then use traditional methods of storage and traditional recipes through winter for the vegetables she harvests. Rachel will also continue the great work she started this summer with our fantastic new butterfly garden. Obviously, her work as a Green Fee intern sets some interesting groundwork for her future graduate studies in environmental history.

Welcome, Rachel! We look forward to a fun and productive semester with you at Chucalissa.


 

Introducing our new Graduate Assistants

Meet Nur Abdalla and Brooke Garcia 

Nur Abdalla teaches group of students from Drummond Elementary about Talking Sticks
Nur Abdalla is pursuing a masters degree in Applied Anthropology while working as a graduate assistant at Chucalissa.

So, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, but I was born in Brooklyn! I moved here when I was two years old. I have bachelors degrees in Anthropology and Japanese from the University of Memphis.

What are your career goals?
I would like to combine archaeology and education in a museum setting. I also want to work with communities to preserve cultural heritage including the archaeological record with ethnohistories.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, cooking and crafting. I also really like to blog! Currently I'm reading Game of Thrones, but my favorites books are The Lord of the Rings series. Making pottery is a favorite pastime of mine.

What is your favorite museum?
Locally, my favorite museum is the Pink Palace.

Tell us one weird but true fact about yourself. 
I can rap the prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

What kind of things do you hope to do at Chucalissa? 
I hope that I will get to work in collections. Maybe I can help with the revision of the Hands-On Archaeology Lab (soon to be the Brister Archaeological Discovery Lab). 
Brooke works on a collections loan at Chucalissa this past summer.
Brooke Garcia is pursing a masters degree in Art History at the University of Memphis while working as a graduate assistant at Chucalissa.

So, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am from Long Beach, California. I have a degree in Archaeology from Brown University. I have lived in Memphis for one year and I love it!

What are your career goals?
I would like to be curator of an ancient collection. Eventually, I plan on getting a PhD in Art History or Museum Studies.

What are your hobbies?
I really like to watch TV, like Netflix. I am also a trained competitive ballroom dancer. I used to sew and bedazzle my own costumes!

What is your favorite museum?
This is a really hard question! I'm going to have to say the Met.

Tell us one weird but true fact about yourself. 
I can recite all of the prepositions. Everyone should visit me at Chucalissa so I can recite them for you!

What kind of things do you hope to do at Chucalissa? 
I hope to work in collections. I would love to help in the creation of a new exhibit or revising existing ones.
In our next issue of Chucalissa Anoachi, you will meet our other new graduate assistants, Elizabeth Cruzado Carranza and Colleen McCartney. Stay tuned!
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