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"museum for Brazils native people" Brasília Things to Do Tip by travgran

Brasília Things to Do: 41 reviews and 60 photos

The Memorial dos Povos Indigenas is accross the road from the JK Memorial and is another Niemeyer designed building.
This museum is the reason for my visit to Brasilia, but on the city tour I took, although we parked at the JK Memorial to learn all about it, the guide did not even mention this museum which was directly across the road and in full view, and although it is a Niemeyer building.
As I learnt more, this ignoring of the Indigenous people seemed typical.
Niemeyer designed the building to resemble the typical circular houses of the Yanomani People. It was intended to be a museum celebrating the artistic talents of all Brazil's native people, both modern and also archeological finds. Native shamans and elders were consulted and approved of the idea.
Once the museum was completed, the powers that be decided that such a beautiful building was wasted on native peoples and decided to make it a regular art museum. The native elders objected, but to no avail. Then they prayed. Eventually the art museum failed, and after another false start, the building was eventually turned over to house the collection for which it was designed.
The collection is STUNNING, especially the feather jewelry.
There is a cafe and also a gift shop in the building, but they are open only sporadically, and to no reliable schedule. Even the museum itself has opening hours that are thoretical rather than actual. If the main door is closed, go arounf to a large metal door on the ground floor and bang hard, and either a security guard or a member of the staff will probably let you in. It is worth the effort.

Address: opposite JK Memorial
Phone: 223-3760

Review Helpfulness: 3 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 7, 2006
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