Saturday, February 27, 2010

Museums of Gold and Fat People

On Friday, we went with Marta, Gabe's aunt, to the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) and the Museo Botero (The Museum of Fernando Botero) in the Candelaria neighborhood in downtown Bogota.

Museo del Oro was funky. Metallurgy was a big deal with native Colombians. They had incredibly refined ways of molding gold and copper, and felt that it was their duty to then return the gold to the earth. The sculptures were pretty badass, and represented this really rich spiritual cosmology. Shamans and chieftans all had their own animal souls, which were represented in their gold jewelry and sculptures.

Gabe is pretty sure if he were a shaman, he'd be a jaguar. Which is wild, because when the jaguar shamans adopted their animal form, apparently their subjects were also their prey. Uh-huh.

If you captured another shaman or chieftan, you could not only take their land and gold, but their spirit and their freaking CHANTS. Yeah.

The Spaniards, of course, then came and mucked it all up and tried to take the gold. Damn Europeans.

After the Museo del Oro, we headed over to the Museo Botero, which celebrates one of Colombia's living legends, the artist Fernando Botero. This free museum feels a lot like the Cloisters, except way modern, of course. Anyways. He makes sculptures and paintings of funny fat people. We liked them.

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