Saturday, October 21, 2017

MEXICO CITY: THE INCREDIBLE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY




As I have said numerous times in my postings on the Mayan ruins of México, I simply adore exploring archaeological sites.  But now I have found the next best thing and that is the outstanding National  Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) in México City.  With this “discovery” there will be less need to drag my husband with me to visit “the old folks” in their “old rock temples.”





Now we can indulge my anthropology/archaeological passion at this national treasure.  And surprisingly, my husband was the first to suggest we re-visit the National Museum of Anthropology (which I will refer to as “Museum” herein) on a recent trip to México City.  Since we had only visited the ground floor Archaeology Halls on our first visit, we had the entire upper floor of Ethnography Halls to explore. So if you are ready, please join me on this Museum excursion.






The huge and architecturally beautiful National Museum of Anthropology is located in Chapultepec (Grasshopper) Park in Mexico City and is one of the most extensive museums of its kind in the world. It contains the most significant collection of pre-Columbian Mayan objects through and including up to  the period of Spanish colonization to be found anywhere. Sculptures, stelae, frescoes, and dioramas of the many pre-Columbian cultures can be viewed as though you were there in real time.





Designed in 1964 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano, and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca, the monumental contemporary “Museum” contains exhibition halls surrounding a courtyard with a huge pond and a vast square with a concrete “umbrella” supported by a single slender pillar (known as "el paraguas” which translates to umbrella in Spanish).  The architecture is so stunning, seductive and, in my opinion sexy, it would be reason enough for a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City even for those not interested in Mexican history or museums.  




The salas (exhibition halls) are ringed by gardens with many containing outdoor exhibits. The museum has a total of 23 salas for exhibits and covers an area of  857,890 square feet (almost 20 acres). The salas of Aztec and Mayan culture are multidimensional, complex, and fabulous and I find them truly wonderful.





The former Museum of Anthropology was redesigned and rebuilt in its current contemporary incarnation and was inaugurated in September, 1964 by President Adolfo López Mateos, who declared: “The Mexican people lift this monument in honor of the admirable cultures that flourished during the Pre-Columbian period in regions that are now territory of the Republic. In front of the testimonies of those cultures, the Mexico of today pays tribute to the indigenous people of Mexico, in whose example we recognize characteristics of our national originality.”





There are eleven archaeology (the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains) halls on the ground level which contain an astounding collection of archaeological artifacts (originals or replicas) from the numerous ancient cultures in México including the Olmec, Mexica, Maya, Golfo, Aztec, Toltec, Zapotec, and others from the prehistoric period (30,000-2500 BC) to the Mesoamerican Postclassic Period (up to the early 16th century AD).





On the upper level there are eleven ethnography (the scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures) halls which cover the vast number of México’s indigenous groups living in México today. As quoted from the Museum’s literature:  “México’s indigenous groups are the bearers of a cultural patrimony characterized by a distinctive worldview, religion, economy, ceremonies, dances, rituals, as well as veneration of the ancestors, social organization and everyday life.” Patronato del Museo de Antropología





The National Museum of Anthropology has been named number two (#2) of the top 25 museums in the world in the Traveler’s Choice Awards. And if that is not enough, the Museum has also been voted the number one attraction in México City by TripAdvisor based on 13,296 reviews and still counting. Which only confirms what I think when I say this museum is AWESOME!





In conclusion, I believe I have pretty much exhausted all of my Thesaurus adjectives in my attempt to describe the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.  All I can say is "GO THERE" and you will not be disappointed.  And if you can't make it just yet,  you can go to my photograph album below to see more images of this great museum.  





The following link includes photographs from our two visits to the Museum of Anthropology:

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY OF MEXICO CITY



Here I am "wearing" a replica of the quetzal feathered headdress which tradition holds belonged to Moctezuma II, the Aztec emperor at the time of the Spanish Conquest. For more of the history of this iconic masterpiece here is the link:  

 HISTORY OF QUETZAL HEADDRESS

and my very final adios with a photo album:  THE ANCIENT ONES

Many thanks for your company and I very much look forward to seeing you in the near future. Until then, happy trails and safe travels,  Laura 


4 comments:

  1. Oh, how we loved that place, too! Great photos -- and memories!

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    1. Thank you "Unknown" for leaving a comment. Would you like to be put on my email list for future postings?

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  2. Very beautiful and interesting. I can tell why you were enthralled with this amazing museum. Gracias.

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    1. Gracias, Surfer Dude. I can't even come somewhat close to your list of museums visited world wide, but I do love the Museo de Antropologia in Mexico City.

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