Thursday to Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 3:30 p.m.
Tours can also be reserved at different times
CONTACT FOR RESERVATIONS
Telephones: (+593 2) 228-0940 and 228-0772 ext. 19
Topics of guided visits
Get to know the central theme of the permanent exhibition: the Andean world view.
“The underworld”, where the dead and ancestors dwell.
“The earthly world”, which is the domain of human beings, plants and animals.
“The overworld”, which pertains to divinities such as the sun, the moon, water and other elements of nature.
Death is a passage in the cycle of life that has been bound up in rituality throughout history. Drinking colada morada (a traditional Ecuadorian drink prepared with black corn flour and fruits) and guaguas de pan (pastries) on All Souls’ Day, visiting the graves of the dead or burying amulets with the deceased are rites that are still practised in several parts of Ecuador and bear similarities with the mortuary rites of pre-Colombian cultures.
Pre-Colombian cultures observed the transit of the sun, the moon and the stars and were aware of their harmonious relationship with the Earth and its inhabitants. They learnt when to sow and harvest different crops in keeping with the seasons, while also being aware of their nutritious and healing properties.
Canes made using peach palm (chonta), whistle bottles shaped like soursop, cocoa and pumpkin bear witness to the pre-Colombian heritage that speaks of the age-old relationship between humans and plants.
Following a great deluge, two brothers wed two macaws, thus giving rise to the Cañari people. This is one of many ancient tales that are still handed down by the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, and speak of the sacredness of animals and the role they played in the origin of the world.
Jaguar-shaped chest ornaments, ear expanders bearing representations of opossums, bird-shaped whistles, and gold brooches shaped like caimans: these are just a few of the many objects with anthropo-zoomorphic representations that are featured on this tour.
The Museum is housed in one of the first residences to be built in the city of Quito, during the seventeenth century. The name “Casa del Alabado” (“House of the Praised One”) is taken from an inscription carved in stone at the entrance: “Praised be the most holy sacrament. This entrance was finished on 1st July 1671”. For over four hundred years, the inhabitants of the Santa Clara neighbourhood have read this inscription and called the building the “House of the Praised One”.
Its adobe walls, stone columns, woven reed ceiling and cobblestone corridors speak both of ancient building methods and of the painstaking work carried out by skilful artisans on restoring the building. The Museum conceptually brings together container and content alike in a striking example of architectural intervention and restoration in dialogue with the collection.