Things to do in Barcelona – visit the Museum of World Cultures

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A recent addition to the Barcelona’s museum scene, the Museum of World Cultures (Museu de Cultures del Món) established in 2012, presents an interesting look at the cultural heritage of Africa, Asia, Oceana, and the Americas.  This fascinating museum, often mistaken for being part of the neighboring Picasso Museum, is a great place to spend an hour or two while strolling through the Gothic Quarter.

The museum’s collection of over 30,000 items-the majority of which were obtained from the collections of the Barcelona Ethnology Museum and the Folch Foundation-is an amazing collection of non-western ‘culture art’ and artifacts. Some of what you’ll see includes:

Masks Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

An impressive collection of ceremonial masks, among which are:

Eharo Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

A 20th-century Eharo mask,

Mmwo Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

A 20th-century Mmwo mask used for ritual dances,

Ikawara Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

an Ikawara mask from Gabon,

Kipoko Helmet Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Kiwoyo and Kipoko helmet masks from the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Nigerian Helmet Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a Nigerian ritual dance helmet mask,

Gelede Helmet Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Nigerian Gelede Helmet Mask Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and 20th-century Nigerian Gelede helmet masks;

Crocodile Canoe Prow Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

An interesting collection of 20th-century canoe prows carved in the shape of animals;

Carved Pillar Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Totems, pillars,

Ceremonial Poles Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and poles;

Painted Shield Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

A 20th-century shield from Papua New Guinea;

Enemy Skull Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

A macabre enemy skull, also from Papua New Guinea;

Numerous figures and statues, such as:

Aripa Figures Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

anthropomorphic Aripa figures dating from the 16th to 19th centuries;

Ceramic Female Figures Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Censer Figure Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

as well as reliquary guardians and ritual figures,

Historical Buddha Sakyamuni Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a gilded copper statue of Buddha Sakyamuni from Nepal,

Statue of Parvati Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a ca. 17th/18th-century copper Parvati,

Relief of Kali and Camunda Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a detailed ca. 16th/17th-century wooden relief of Kali over Camunda from South India,

Statue of Padmasambhava Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and a 16th-century Tibetan statue of spiritual master Padmasambhava;

Beautifully fashioned jewelry and adornments including:

Dowry Necklace Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a dowry necklace of rudraksha beads and semi precious stones, 

Gilded Bronze Comb Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a bronzed gold comb, 

Haar Necklace Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a ca. 19th/20th-century silver and enamel hear necklace;

Kriss Dagger Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

An Indonesian Kriss dagger fashioned from iron, silver and bone;

Metal Grave Goods Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and Funerary grave goods;

Decorative carvings and paintings including:

Carved Lintels Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Carved lintels from South India;

Lime Squeezer Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a carved Indonesian lime squeezer,

Painted Doors from South India Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

a 19th-century door believed to be from a palace or the residence of an aristocrat;

Bark Paintings Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

20th-century Australian bark paintings, depicting such images as:

Wallaby and Serpent Bark Painting Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

wititj serpent with a rock wallaby, 

 Goanna Dance Bark Painting Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

the Goanna Dance, 

Kangaroo Dance Bark Painting Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and the Wubarr Ceremony Kangaroo Dance;

Divination Book Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

and a 19th-century Sumatran Divination Book.

Courtyard Stairs Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

As you stroll through the galleries, or in the museum courtyard, pay attention to the buildings housing the museum. These will no doubt be of particular interest to architecture and history fans. The site consists of the former Casa Mora o del Marquès de Llió (comprised of four separate medieval buildings, this was the residence of several noble families and takes its name from its 18th-century inhabitant, the Marquès de Llió); and Case Nadal (two 14th-century buildings converted into one in the 17th century). 

Architectural features include: 

Painted Ceiling Museum of World Cultures Barcelona

Gothic windows, a stone stairway in the courtyard, colonnaded logia on the upper floor, and in several rooms, the ca. 13th/14th-century polychrome ceiling beams decorated with plant motifs, images of animals, and the coat of arms of the Pontons family and a coat of arms with rampant griu, the mythical griffin.

Getting there:

The Museu de Cultures del Món is located at c/Montcada, 12, directly across from the Picasso Museum.

Ticket info:

Adult Admission (Permanent + Temporary Exhibitions) = 5.00€; Ages 16-29/65 & Over = 3.50€

Adult Admission (Temporary Exhibition) = 2.20€; Ages 16-29/65 & Over = 1.50€

Child Admission (Ages 15 & Under) = Free

Travel tip:  Your ticket also includes entrance to the Ethnology Museum of Barcelona.

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