Sunday, 20 December 2009

El Museo del Oro

Leo and I had a break from the kids one afternoon, so we were able to go to the Museo del Oro in Bogota. It was amazing. I've never seen so much gold in my life. But then it is the largest collection of gold in the world, so I guess it's the most I could possibly ever see. I liked these monkey earrings.

The breast plates and other ornaments kept making us want to hum Book of Mormon Stories...Hee. Hee. Here's a little snippet about the museum.

"The Banco de la República Gold Museum, in Bogota, Colombia, displays an extraordinary selection of its pre-Hispanic goldwork collection - the biggest in the world. Together with other pottery, stone, shell, wood and textile archaeological objects, these items testify to the life and thought of different societies which inhabited what is now known as Colombia before contact was made with Europe."
In this one Leo's holding his finger in front of the display case so you can see how little and delicate it is.
Some other cool artifacts.
I think I'm rather a pottery and textile person myself, but the workmanship in the gold is incredible.
This is their most famous piece. It's a depiction of an offering the Muisca tribe made into Lake Guatavita. Here's another quick factoid about that:

"Laguna de Guatavita was reputedly one of the sacred lakes of the Muisca, and a ritual conducted there is widely thought to be the basis for the legend of El Dorado. The legend says the lake is where the Muisca celebrated a ritual in which the Zipa (named "El Dorado" by the Conquistadores) was covered in gold dust, then venturing out into the water on a ceremonial raft made of rushes, he dived into the waters washing off the gold. Afterward, trinkets', jewellery and other precious offerings were thrown into the waters by worshipers."

This was a really cool room, you step inside and the whole room is dark and then they light it up in patterns like water with the music (indigenous chanting) and basically you're surrounded by gold. It represents the same ritual as I mentioned above. Very neat.

And as another random note, on another tour we were able to see workers refining emeralds. Colombia has 95% of the world's emeralds and there was emerald jewelry everywhere for sale. Really, I've never seen as gorgeous of emeralds anywhere in the States.

1 comment:

Dominic Yeoman said...

lovely music - thank you. And great photos too. I was there and it was overwhelming - even though i entered the museum tired, i left refreshed.