Museo MAPUKA – Barranquilla, Colombia - Atlas Obscura

The MAPUKA Museum (Museo Arqueologico de Pueblos Karib) is the museum of the Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla) and contributes to the promotion of the Caribbean identity from the learning and recognition of the history that took place on the Caribbean coast since pre-Hispanic times.

The museum is divided into four main parts: the pre-Historic area, the first civilizations, pre-Hispanic civilizations, and the Hispanic colonization. The first and second parts of the museum handle with the premises of the first civilizations introducing various ceramic vessels with animal ornaments from San Jacinto and the Magdalena River area of Barranquilla, where the earliest evidence of settlements and agriculture on the continent were found.   

The museum tells the history of the pre-Hispanic civilizations located on the Colombian coast and introduces three main groups: The Taironas (builders and soldiers), the Zenues (goldworkers), and the Malibues (sailors and merchants). Their stories are told through a large collection of objects from daily life, including weapons, totems, pottery, vessels, and jewelry. Each group had its own specific expertise; You will then discover weapons and war tactics from the Taironas, vessels and gold jewelry from the Zenues, and jewelry made with shellfish from the Malibues.

The fourth part of the museum explores the influence of Spanish colonization on the coast with more objects from daily life, like European dishware, maps, pistols bullets, mosaic, and religious symbols.

There are also many short films for children to help them understand the history of the region.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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July 20, 2022

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