Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Gold Museum in San Jose

We got to go into this relatively new museum which is built three levels below the street, under the culture plaza, near the National Theatre.  When you go in, all backpacks are required to be put in a locker but purses are allowed through.  You have to go through a metal checking machine just like those you see in the airport.  You go through after you empty your pockets of all metal coins, keys, etc.

The Gold Museum is a museum that celebrates the indigenous population's historical and current art.  Many of the items in the museum are made of gold while others are made of ceramics.

The lowest floor tells the history of the people and how they turned gold into finished products.  There are certain repeating themes such as frogs, birds that gold is made into again and again.

Here are more artifacts made out of gold.  Each of these were made with simple tools.  Some of these were used for bringing good luck, while others were used to heal, and others brought rain.  Each one had a specific job.

In addition to using gold, they used copper and this display shows what the copper looked like in the raw and in the finished product. 

On the middle floor, they had a video on the indigenous population, their beliefs and their determination to keep their identity.  Out of the eight groups, two have lost their language because they were the first ones who had contact with the Spanish.  The Spaniards when they arrived, built stores which doubled as schools to teach the natives Spanish before converting them to Catholicism.

The museum has dioramas of what they looked like and how they did things back them.  Above is a picture of a warrior with his large ear hoops, gold torque,  chin decoration, and gold bands around the arms and legs.  They have a display of those chin decorations, some look more like fishing hooks or wall hooks.

There are also lots of statues showing men, women, children, and stylized creatures that played a part in their lives.  

Half the second floor also displays current work by famous indigenous artists.  Some of the paintings are very modern while others are vivid.  Most of the styles I saw were very modern but very powerful.  The top floor where we entered showed a bunch of medallions for the military or public that were produced over the years.

I really enjoyed the bottom floor with the explanations of how these people of long ago made their objects.  The number of objects was phenomenal and I could have spend a lot more time there.  I hope you enjoyed the few pictures I shared with you.  let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

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