Project Tanzania 1985-2000: The Zanzibar Doors Dedication Ceremony

Project Tanzania 1985-2000:
The Zanzibar Doors Dedication Ceremony

In 1997, Project Tanzania commissioned a Zanzibar carved wooden door that would serve as a reminder of this successful undertaking. As of the spring of 1997, there were only two known Zanzibar doors in the United States; one at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC and another in the private home of an Africa archeologist in Florida. Thus, the commissioning of this door represents a unique contribution to the cultural and artistic understanding by the people of North Carolina.

On Thursday, February 24, 2000, this magnificent door was dedicated during a spectacular ceremony held in Exploris, where the doors will remain. The Ceremony included an introduction of board members and special guests, a prayer of dedication, and an african dedication dance performed by the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble from Durham, NC.

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Paul Pope, Project Tanzania Board, introduces the other members.

Ann Bryan, President of Exploris, thanks the members for their contribution.

Gordon Smith, Chair of the Board of Directors of Exploris, greeted the audience to the museum and the ceremony.

Joan Baron, Project Tanazania Board, introduces the next speaker.

Ted Lord, project consultant, gives a quick history of the doors.

Jim Goodmon, Project Tanzania Board, talks a little about the project.

Deacon Leo Tapler gives a prayer of dedication.

Susannah Smoot, Public Relations Assitant for Exploris shows the insides of the doors that have inscriptions written in the Arabic script Swahili.

Paul Pope, Joan Baron, and Jim Goodmon, Project Tanazania Board Members, pose in front of the doors.

The audience waits patiently for the Chuck Davis Dancers to begin their dedication dance.

The members of the Chuck Davis Dance Ensemble stop for a quick photo with Paul Pope and Joan Baron, Project Tanazania board members.

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