The departmental museum of archeology Ameridian, the museum Edgar-Clerc, offers an incursion to the time of the first men who populated the territory of Guadeloupe.
“We really have a museum implanted in an important landscape environment,” explains Isabelle Gabriel, public director at the Edgar-Clerc Museum in Moule. Even before entering the building we are surrounded by the environment and the garden is over 3 hectares. There’s a wonderful breeze going through and we can see the sea in the distance. “The seafront was very important to the Amerindians because they fed off the sea and how they made things and they could migrate from island to island and from the Americas to the Antilles.
A Garden of 300 Medicinal Plants
We pass in front of the museum to find the garden of medicinal plants. “It’s an open pharmacy,” says Joseph Angebert, the gardener. “We have nearly 300 medicinal plants scattered throughout, mostly Native American, plants that are said to be for food, medicinal, decorative, ornamental or aromatic. Native Americans are a true well of science that transmits their knowledge with passion and generosity, if you have the chance to meet them. An example of a Native American plant? “The calabash tree, the Crescentia cujete of the family Bignoniaceae. It is a medicinal plant used for mild pain, ear pain, abscess, bruising and sunburns. According to the pathologies, we use either the leaves or the pulp – that we do not eat because it is toxic … “.
The Edgar-Clerc Museum, inaugurated on August 4, 1984, is dedicated to Amerindian archeology. Permanent exhibition room 1 called Isabelle Gabriel, an archaeologist by training, provides for the occasion the guided tour. “The first showcase explains how Native Americans came from Asia through the Bering Strait. They settled in North America at least 40,000 years ago and migrated to South America. Then, there was a global warming between 6,000 and 8,000 BC and there the landscape was changed. If they were nomads before, they became sedentary and invented a very important tool, the polished ax that allowed them to use large trees to make canoes with which they could colonize the small and the Greater Antilles. It will be necessary to go to the museum to know more of this part of history and to see the remains discovered in Morel, in Moule – “The site is made up of the different cultural phases of the Amerindians”, identified by the ceramics, in Saint Francis.
The objects on display come mostly from excavations, but there are also some donations, especially for artifacts from other islands or countries such as Mexico or Guyana. Note that there is also a temporary exhibition devoted to colonial archeology.