EXHIBIT: "Spirit of Viche: Black Ancestral Traditions in the Colombian Pacific"

Event Status
exhibit poster. map overlayed with image of colombian woman, sugar can and viche bottle. includes information.

The Benson Rare Books Reading Room hosts a student-curated exhibition, funded by an Archiving Black América–Black Diaspora Archive Acquisitions Grant.

Spirit of Viche presents scenes of Black life and culture from the Colombian Pacific and features artistry from its four departments—Chocó, Cauca, Valle de Cauca, and Nariño. Its focal point is viche, an artisanal distilled sugarcane drink whose recipe has been passed down from enslaved African women to their descendants for centuries. Viche has medicinal properties, healing general ailments and aiding women during the process of childbirth. Viche is also deeply spiritual, constituting an integral component of everyday life for Black Colombian Pacific communities.

The materials on display were collected in 2023 by LLILAS master’s student Camille Carr as part of the inaugural Archiving Black América-Black Diaspora Archive Acquisitions Award. The award allowed Carr to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Cali, the center of Black life and culture in the Pacific region, and build a small archival collection that includes print media, photographs, bottles of viche, artworks, and other materials.

This exhibition was curated by Camille Carr (MA ’24) in collaboration with Benson Exhibitions Curator Veronica Valarino.

LOCATION: Benson Latin American Collection, Sid Richardson Hall, 2300 Red River St, Austin, Texas

Date and Time
Feb. 6 to Aug. 31, 2024, All Day
Benson Latin American Collection