Below is NOT the final architectural rendering, but rather the result of Memnosyne's interviews with indigenous communities around the world. The tribes use this as a starting point for discussion between their Elders, families, children and community leaders.
•Means to initiate and maintain contact with other indigenous tribes around the world
• Simplicity - Invites decoration by the tribe receiving it, thereby allowing it to be easily integrated into any culture
Stucco – Is the default material, unless the tribes state a desire for another material
oInexpensive, and unobtrusive to surrounding buildings
oModerates heat and cold with minimum need for extra energy resource
Solar powered - Keeps costs at a minimal for tribe so it does not become a financial burden
Elements with meaning to most indigenous cultures:
Round - An almost universal “earth” shape that is perceived as welcoming by most indigenous cultures.
Center Garden - Provides place for dances, ceremonies, and prayer. This was mentioned several times by interviews with indigenous leaders
Elements are represented - The four directions and the four elements are almost globally perceived as necessary for “sacred space”. Including these elements would be seen as a perceptive and respectful tribute by the tribe receiving the cultural center.
Receiving Room & 6 bedroom guest quarters:
•Current Cultural Center Programs are:
The Memnosyne foundation has committed $50,000.00 to each of the following tribes' cultural centers:
•Toltec of Teotihuacan – Mexico
•Maya – Playa De Carmen - Yucatan
The Memnosyne Foundation is currently planning two fundraisers for the Cultural Center Program in 2008:
Benefitting the Toltec and Maya - Pineda Covalin fashion show - Dallas
Benefitting the Toltec, Maya and the Ute Tribe - Aspen
Other tribes that have expressed a desire for a cultural center are:
•Hopi Tribe – Arizona
•Batwa Tribe - Rwanda
•Taos Pueblo – New Mexico
•Apache – New Mexico or Texas
•Navajo – Arizona
•Ute – Colorado
Click the logo to go back and learn more about Memnosyne's other programs!
These are built in order to aid in one or more of the following:
Means to initiate and maintain contact with other indigenous tribes around the world
Allows tribe to host neighboring tribes’ representatives during joint tribal celebrations and/or gives the tribe a space to receive guests that is not as personal as their own sacred space. Most tribes do not have places of outsiders who visit and are often torn between a desire to be hospitable and a lack of resources when travelers turn up unannounced due to the current market’s tendency to “romanticize” the culture of their people.
Absolutely NO charge will go to the tribe for the gift of the cultural center, but the tribal members will be invited & encouraged to participate in raising funds for the center, in which case, they will be treated as volunteers.
The Tribe must be the only party with ownership of the resulting building. This is to protect their interests and to keep the building from being used as a backdoor into their culture by outside interests, be they political, corporate or proselytizing.
Memnosyne Campus Center for Indigenous Cultural Preservation
Eventually a Cultural Center will be built on The Memnosyne Campus so that in the future when a tribe needs to raise funds/interest in support of their center, they can exhibit their work in an exact example of what they want to build. This will allow them to demonstrate the validity of their need and how it will be used to prospective philanthropists.
This center will also house offices for The Indigenous Institute of the Americas, one of the Memnosyne Foundation's Associate Organizations
Q: Why focus on preserving culture?
A:It is essential for the wellbeing of indigenous people in the face of globalization, (technology, outside influences, etc.)
While people around the world have eagerly risen up to help those in third world countries and indigenous tribes with limited means to have access to the necessities of life, far too often the original tie that bound a close knit people can be severed as a result of the western world's influence upon a once economically independent group of people.
As a result, after interviewing indigenous leaders from Japan, Africa, UK and the Americas, the Memnosyne Foundation designed the Cultural Center program to help the indigenous cultures retain their heritage, their arts, their songs, their dances, their traditional ceremonies, their traditional medicine practices, languages, and etc. so that we as mankind do not lose the rich wealth of knowledge and beauty that is otherwise endangered in a globalized world. Those tribes that have retained their culture in the face of globalization have suffered far less problems with drugs, alcohol and depression as a result of keeping their "tribal-family" ties in tact.
The intention of these centers is not to bring western mindsets into foreign lands, but rather to humbly ask to help those currently living in other cultures if we might help preserve their people's contributions to humanity before they are lost, and with it the self-confidence, spirit and heart of a people.
Memnosyne Foundation's Chair of The Global Board of Indigenous Leaders, Gregory Gomez, of the Apache Nation,
have met with and discussed the priorities, hopes, concerns, and ambitions of the Toltec and Maya people, and helped them to discover through this process, what their communities' most want to include in their Cultural Centers and how the centers will best serve them and future generations.
After these dialogues, the communities designed their vision and each submitted a proposal.
The Maya designed their buildings in the traditional thatched hut/stone style of their ancestors. They broke ground in January 2008!
The Toltecs worked with an architect/archeologist to create their design so it would be congruent with their ancestors buildings in Teotihuacan. It will be built out of the same materials and their groundbreaking will be on the 21st of March 2008!
Step 1 - Generic cultural center design is presented to the tribe's community leaders to help begin discussion.
Step 2 - The tribe adjusts basic design to accomodate their community's unique needs and vision.
Step 3 - The final agreed upon design is presented to architect of tribe's choosing who works with them to best aproximate their vision.
The example shown here is from the Cultural House of Teotihuacan.