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Rare Amazon Tribe Exhibition Comes to Boise State

Rare Amazon Tribe Exhibition Comes to Boise State

picture of Madre de Dios river in Peru

An exciting and rare glimpse into one of the world’s last remaining Amazonian tribes comes to Boise State from October 18, 2018 to February 1, 2019 at the Ron and Linda Yanke Research Center gallery.

“The Ese’Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread” shares one of the few extant foraging societies of the Amazon basin and the ways the tribe is endangered by environmental degradation due to illegal gold mining and deforestation.

The Ese’Eja (EH-see-AY-ha), are a hunter-gatherer-fisher group in southwestern Peru. Their name derives from their autonym, Ece’je, which means “people” and they are also known as The True People. This fascinating exhibit speaks to many university areas such as art, anthropology, environmental science and global culture.

The exhibit contains 20 contemporary Daguerrotype photographs, 32 Platinum-Palladium photographic prints, and 10 drawings by tribal members. Also included are numerous handmade baskets and utensils, bows and arrows, canoe paddles, garments made of bark fiber, and beautiful decorative objects of the Ese’Eja material culture.

There will also be wall texts by the Ese’Eja people, outlining their world view and perspective on the current environmental crisis threatening their way of life. Many medicinal plant specimens, jewelry and a video documentary will also be on display.

Project team leaders and photographers are University of Delaware Art and Design Assistant Professor Jon Cox, and Andrew Bale, a University of Delaware alumnus and lecturer in Art and Art History at Dickinson College.

Cox and Bale will be visiting Boise State the week of October 15-19 to help celebrate the exhibition opening, and to share their experiences in Peru.

“One of the goals of having the exhibition and the book was for the Ese’Eja to have a voice in the policies that directly affect them,” Cox said. “My goal was to facilitate them telling their story with the hope that projects like this one will start a conversation.”

If you would like to schedule a group tour with the photographers, please contact Stephanie Bacon at

An opening reception for the public will be held Thursday October 18 from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. we will have remarks from Cox and Bale, as well as from Roger Mustalish, outgoing President of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research, and other noted guests.

The Esa’Eja Exhibit was made possible by a generous gift from Chris Davidson and Sharon Christoph.

Exhibit hours and dates are below.

picture of Esa'Eji exhibit information























By: Pam Robbins

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