Free museum at the waterfront

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Down at the end of El Malecon 2000 you find one interesting attraction in the city of Guayaquil. The MAAC or Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo which is an interesting mix of an anthropological and modern art museum. And one great thing about this museum is it is free to visit so there is no reason not to go when you are walking up and down the Malecon anyways.

We focused on the anthropological parts of the museum which is pretty interesting. It has a large exhibition about pre-Columbian life in the Ecuador are which make it an interesting place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of the area. Unfortunately the explanations around the museum are in Spanish so if your Spanish is limited you will have to look at the items in the exhibition and make your own guess about what there are.

A collection of shrunken heads

There are some small figurines in the exhibit and other items from pre-Columbian history of Ecuador. I guess these items are fairly interesting and what you should expect at an anthropological museum. But the real highlight in this museum is a collection of heads which has been shrunk.

A shrunken head with long hair

The heads look really strange and it is fun to see them. I guess the heads are fairly old since the tradition of shrinking heads started disappearing with the arrival of the Spanish.

There is a plaque with a description of how the process worked. There is an explanation of how it is all done – but the writing is all Spanish so we couldn’t really read what it say. Fortunately there were a lot of pictures accompanying the text so we could get a fairly good idea of the process.

Poster describing how to shrink a head

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