NATURE ON DISPLAY
I must confess that I did not expect the museum to be as beautiful and enlightening as it was. Every exhibit captured my attention because of the color, organization and meaning they displayed. Out of all the exhibits in the Florida Museum of Natural History, the most appealing to me was the one with Andean traditional outfits. My mother is from Peru so I was able to witness my cultural roots from my university. When I traveled to Cusco Peru, the native people were wearing the traditional outfits that were on display. The outfits, seen above, have a variation of color, design and style. My favorite piece was the “chullu” which is a knitted hat that kept the Andean men warm. Chullus are commonly used today not only by the natives, but by the tourists traveling to Cusco as symbolism and appreciation for the Peruvian culture. The exhibit made my experience more enjoyable because it made me proud that my heritage was being represented. I think it is important for Andean culture to be shown to the public because their beliefs about the land are very valuable. The Peruvian natives appreciate the land, water and everything the Earth has to offer. They do not take nature for granted and that is something us Americans need to learn from. As a whole, I enjoyed the museum because it gave me the opportunity to interact with nature and learn about nature, allowing me to feel connected to the Earth.
NATURE AND ETHICS
After visiting the museum, I realized that I took the Earth for granted. I am so busy with school work and other distractions in my life that I do not stop and look at the beautiful natural world I am in. Coming to think of it, I cannot remember the last time I have seen the stars at night because I do not take a few seconds to look up. I’ve realized that my actions portray Leopold’s idea of human’s acting as “conquers of land” rather than members of the “biotic community”. After entering the butterfly garden, my perspective of nature changed and I began to respect, admire and love the land. Instead of being a conquer, I stepped back and became a visitor to the butterflies. I protected them by trying not to harm their fragile bodies when they got close. Oddly, I felt happier outside than I did inside the museum doors. I experienced an overwhelming amount of love and unity. The butterfly garden suddenly became a sacred place and looking around, I believe other people felt the same way. Everyone was happy and taking photographs of the lovely exhibit. My experience in the Butterfly exhibition has given me an ethical responsibility to protect and care more about the Earth rather than harm it with my careless actions. It has taught me to act more like a visitor than a conquer outside the museum doors.