AS/COA Online | Interview: Dr. Thomas Dillehay on Moon Tears: Mapuche Art and Cosmology

“[O]ne of the elements of their culture that has helped the Mapuche to survive, even today as well, is their strong commitment to their cosmology and religion.”

Dr. Thomas D. Dillehay, a distinguished professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University and Professor Extroardinaire at the Universidad de Chile, talks with AS/COA Online about the objects featured in Moon Tears: Mapuche Art and Cosmology from the Domeyko Cassel Collection—the exhibition featured at the Americas Society. In a interview about how the history and rituals of Chile’s largest indigenous group are reflected in the exhibition, Dillehay emphasizes the ways that the Mapuche create linkages with their ancestors through ritual as well as some of the changes that have occurred in Mapuche communities over time.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Dillehay directed excavations in Monte Verde, Chile, which included human artifacts dated at more than 12,500 years old. The discovery fundamentally changed migration theories of the Americas. He has authored 15 books, among them the award-winning 2007 publication Monuments, Empires and Resistance, as well as more than 200 refereed journal articles.

AS/COA Online: The exhibition covers three areas: contact, conquest, and political organization. How are these themes significant in the relation to the Mapuche and the exhibition?

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Urban Latino | Gallery of the Gods

Sacrifice your weekend plans; the Aztec Empire has arrived in New York. The first major show about Aztec civilization to hit the U.S. in 20 years dominates six levels of the Guggenheim until mid-February. The exhibit features several artifacts that have never left Mexico before - and may never do so again. It focuses on advanced arts created in the centuries leading up to the Spanish conquest, including life-size sculptures, glittering gold lip plugs and earrings, and intricately detailed clay figurines.

In one room, a sensational statue of Mictlantecuhtli, god of the underworld, grins widely as his liver hangs below his ribs, the shadow of his claws creeping up the wall. Mexican architect Enrique Norten is behind the show's dramatic design, including a backdrop of gray fabric draping the walls of the museum's famous coiled rotunda, leading to a stone carving of a serpent's head in the lobby.

Scarce exhibit descriptions might frustrate knowledge junkies, but the intent isn't to boost audio tour sales. Instead, each object is left to speak for itself as a work of art.

"The exhibit design showcases the magnificence and impressive size of the pieces," said Sarah Selvedge of the Guggenheim's education department. "It's not so much about what the Aztecs were doing in the original context. It's about what it means now and how we see these things."

Visitors searching for context can take one of the free scheduled tours or attend artist lectures. If the more than 430 pieces aren't enough, head downstairs to see the Aztec-inspired Keith Haring pop art exhibit. The Guggenheim charges a hefty $18 admission, but offers a two-for-one on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m., when the café serves blood orange margaritas.

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Manhattan South - Sexed Up Funk: Los Amigos Dock Their Intergalactic Love Boat

"Shake your booty!" shouts Los Amigos Invisibles' lead singer Julio Briceño over the band's tight rhythms. "You're going to forget that it's raining out there."

It's a rainy, cold Monday night in the West Village, and Los Amigos have taken the S.O.B.'s stage with plaid pants on and shirt collars unbuttoned. While the Venezuelan sextet time-travels through a universe of disco, funk, and Latin styles, conjuring images of an intergalactic Love Boat -- just imagine George Clinton on board, playing maracas -- the blend of beats on songs like "Ponerte en Cuatro" keeps the crowd dancing.

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The Boston Globe - Let there be nondenominational light

On a sunny winter afternoon in Exeter, N.H., the fading daylight illuminates blues and greens in the new stained-glass window of the Phillips Churs. The colors give the window a three-dimensional effect as they swirl into a dramatic red that bursts across the 15-by-20-foot piece.

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The Boston Globe - Once again, these are the salon days

"If you wish to have any standing in society," wrote French novelist Stendhal in 1832, "it is necessary that 20 people should be interested in speaking well of you. Remember you will get promotions only by means of the salons."

The Laconda Room in the Prudential Center's Marché restaurant doesn't exactly bring a 19th-century French drawing room - from which the salon tradition drew its name - to mind.

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The Boston Globe - Finally, a Latino film festival here

Los Angeles, Miami, and San Diego have held Latino film festivals for years, attracting big-name stars as speakers. Even Providence celebrated its tenth in April, with Antonio Banderas in attendance at the festival's $125-per-person gala dinner. It takes a little longer for such high-powered events for Boston and Cambridge...

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