The MUSEF Sucre Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, is the regional version of the National MUSEF in La Paz. The MUSEF was established by the Banco Central de Bolivia Cultural Foundation. The MUSEF houses artifacts from some of the ancient native indigenous peoples of the area.
At the end of the 19th Century, Sucre underwent a moment of economic growth due to booms in minerals mined nearby. This is when the city's largest banking institutions were established. In 1892 Fancisco Argandoña, prince of the La Glorieta Castle, and the only prince in Bolivia's history, opened a bank named after himself in the building the MUSEF Sucre now occupies. The bank merged with Banco Nacional de Bolivia in 1912. It's exterior façade has been renovated and modernized over time, but the interior patios still have their colonial charm. In 2004 the national Museum of Ethnography and Folklore took charge of the building and created the MUSEF Sucre.
The MUSEF Sucre houses both permanent and temporary displays. At the time we visited, in July 2011, there were two main permanent exhibits. The big attraction is an exhibit of carnaval and festivity masks used by Bolivia's many indigenous cultures. The second floor houses a permanent display of the Uru-Chipaya culture, known for it's unusual round and cone-shaped houses made of mud and straw, that was almost decimated by the Aymara and the Spanish.
Photographs are not allowed at the MUSEF Sucre. We were given special permission, after explaining our mission and filling out some paperwork, by the Regional Coordinator to take photos for our website. Gustavo Aguilar is a fun and interesting person full of information and knowledge of history. He gave us a tour and explained the Uru-Chipaya culture to us, which made our visit very fun indeed. We're so thankful to him for that! The spectacular exhibit titled "Máscaras" (masks) made our visit to the Musef completely worthwhile.
The Museum of Ethnography and Folklore of Sucre is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 - 12:30 and from 2:30 - 6:30 and on Saturdays from 9:30 to 12:30. It is located on Calle España No. 74, just 2 blocks from Sucre's central square Plaza 25 de Mayo. Telephone: (591-4) 645-5293, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.musef.org.bo