Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oaxaca 2 - Regional Museum

May 6th to 9th June

The Regional Museum in Oaxaca is housed in the beautiful Santa Domingo complex of buildings.....

Building work was originally started in 1572 by the Dominican Order and took over 200 years to complete. The monastery saw monks until 1857, then soldiers during the revolutionary years from the 1860's to the 1930's when the monastery was converted to barracks. Then students arrived when Oaxaca University claimed the buildings. Finally, the students were booted out to make way for treasure taken from the tombs of nearby Monte Alban when the old monastery became a museum in 1972.

The building now houses a fine collection of Zapotec art and treasure used to decorate the tombs of the dead to ensure a head start in the afterlife. The most famous piece is this human skull mosaic from "Tomb 7"....

The Zapotecs traded over vast areas and were fine craftsmen. This ivory carving depicts eagle, jaguars and men in ornate headress and is exquisitely detailed....

Stone carved figurines....

There are quartz crystal goblets so fine they are translucent and large collections of jade jewelery....

Gold jewelery with incredibly fine filigree work from around 500AD

Behind the monastery building is a large botanical garden with collections of native Mexican plant life....

Dominated by about a million types of cactus.....


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