Na Bolom Cultural Association
by Robert Johnston
Na Bolom is a scientific and cultural association founded in 1951 by Frans Blom and Gertrude Duby Blom. Over the past 45 years, Na Bolom has developed an enduring and trusted relationship with the Lacandones. The library and archives at Na Bolom are the most comprehensive sources on Lacandon history and culture, apart from the Lacandones themselves. The photographic archive contains tens of thousands of negatives taken by Trudi Blom; a large portion pertain to the Lacandones. It was largely through the efforts of Trudi Blom and international exhibitions of her photographs that the plight of the rainforest and Lacandon culture came to world attention.
Kayum Ma'ax with one of Trudi Bloms
for installation in the Casa de la Cultura, NajŠ
The Department of Rainforest Projects along with the Photographic Archive have begun the task of returning the patrimony inherent in all this material to the indigenous communities from which it came. The Casa de la Cultura projects are a major step towards realizing this goal. Responsible for many valuable and innovative projects, Na Bolom operates on a frighteningly small budget given its mandate in Chiapas. Na Bolom, in its role as elected cultural advisory to the Lacandon communities, can help to facilitate greater cultural exchange for the Lacandones with other indigenous communities worldwide.
Visit the website of Na Bolom here!