Tapestry: The Cultural Threads of First America Exhibition
A St. Augustine 450th Commemoration exhibition that details how 3 intertwining cultures –Hispanics, Africans and Native Americans– formed the foundation of the American culture and created the blended society of today’s St. Augustine.
The fusion of culture began in St. Augustine in 1565 when Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived with 800 colonists to settle the New World in the name of Spain. It was an ambitious attempt at colonization, one that would become the foundation for the most lasting European settlement in the United States.
The newly arrived colonists were Spanish and Africans. When they stepped off the ship onto the soils of the first permanent American colony, they became Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans for the first time. This was the beginning of both the Latin-American and African-American experiences in the New World. The colonists survived because Native Americans at the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy allowed them to occupy and modify Indian structures, even digging a moat around a council house for fortification.
The intermingling of Native Americans, Hispanics and Africans was the very beginning of the diverse American culture, one that characterizes our nation today.
Beyond exploring St. Augustine’s historical roots, Tapestry showcases the people who have shaped the city’s cultural landscape over four and a half centuries. The histories and contemporary cultural expressions of the Menorcans, Greeks, British and others who are part of St. Augustine’s rich cultural fabric are woven into the exhibition.