“The Lucayans deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their accomplishments”

Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC) curator, Nameiko Miller (left) gives tour of artifacts at the opening exhibition of “Lucayans: the Valor of the Vanquished” at Pompey Museum, October 12, 2022. Also pictured are Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis, Minister Glenys Hanna Martin, and State Minister Myles LaRoda. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

A ceremony to officially open an exhibition of artwork and artifacts showcasing the history of the first inhabitants of The Bahamas was held October 12, 2022 in Pompey Square. Presented by the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC), the exhibition, “Lucayans: the Valor of the Vanquished” features miniature replicas, life-sized statues and artifacts to tell the story of the vitality and unfortunate demise of the Lucayan people.

The exhibition was presented to offer the public the chance to become more knowledgeable about the Lucayans, and of the cultural legacy and history of The Bahamas. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis gave remarks at the opening ceremony denoting the importance of this historic exhibition; the first of its kind in The Bahamas.

“The Lucayans deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their accomplishments and we do so today with the opening of this display,” the prime minister said.

According to Prime Minister Philip Davis, the onus is on the Bahamian people to respect and preserve the “tremendous legacy” left behind by the now extinct Lucayans.

“We are not the original people of this land. We inherited this land and as people who now claim this earth as our own, we have a duty to honor and remember its original inhabitants,” he said.

Author Tellis Bethel also presented remarks expressing the weight of keeping the story of the Lucayans, a people known for peace, alive.

“Within their story are profound implications that speak to the Bahamas’ destiny and identity for the greater good of humanity. Their demise also uncovers an inherent responsibility left to us as inheritors of these islands,” he said.

Present at the opening ceremony were: Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training, the Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin; Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, and Family Island Affairs the Hon. Clay Sweeting; Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles LaRoda; Chair of the AMMC Board, S. Rosel Moxey; Director of AMMC, Dr. Christopher Curry; and Poet Patricia Glinton-Meicholas. British High Commissioner His Excellency Thomas Hartley was also in attendance.

The untold stories of the way of life of the first inhabitants of these islands are also important and need to be preserved, according to Nameiko Miller, curator at AMMC.

“History does not start in 1492 with Columbus simply because this is the first time a European wrote about these islands. Histories exist without being written,” she said.

“Lucayans: the Valor of the Vanquished” exhibition is open for viewing at Pompey Museum until March 4th , 2023.

By CARISSA WILLIAMSON/Bahamas Information Services

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