The theme of the first Musa exhibition could not have been broader. Extending over 10 km, the confluence between the black-looking waters of the Negro River and the mud-colored Solimões is home to animals, plants, and people, as well as a resting place for the yet unexplored traces of the civilizations that have inhabited this part of the Amazon. As man has done for centuries of civilizational progress, communities develop, find shelter, and reproduce themselves near riverbanks. A summary of the essence of this region has been and still is intimately associated with this meeting of waters.
The areas adjacent to the confluence of the Negro and the Solimões rivers have witnessed both encounters and divergences between different peoples in times past. The archaeological relics displayed by the exhibition have been found in the regions surrounding the meeting of waters, demonstrating the human presence in the Amazon for over nine thousand years, much longer than scientists had originally thought.
But there are other things to be discovered at the meeting of waters: the richness of the aquatic life, represented by fish – such as jaraquis, South American knifefish, and electric eels – and macrophytes, plants that are responsible for transporting the microscopic life between the rivers; the wealth of the Indigenous life in present-day Manaus and their view of the symbolism of the meeting of waters.
The exhibition was first set up at the Musa stand during SBPC’s [Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência – Brazilian Society for Scientific Progress] 61st annual conference, with took place July 12-17, 2009, at the UFAM campus in Manaus, Amazon.