Aug 8, 2009

Leon, Nicaragua

Elevation 110m

I attempted a walking tour of Leon yesterday as per LP's recommendation. I have never tried one before as I usually just cherry pick all the things I want to see and then skip the rest. I can't say that the walking tour was a major success seeing that I only finished half of it but one of the museums it recommended as part of the tour was rather fabulous.

Museo de Leyendas y Mitos was a garrison during the civil war and it is full of life size papier-mache figures from Leonese history and legend. All set in contrast with simple deceptions of methods of torture on the wall by the National Guards (US trained and supported). The volunteer guide takes you through room by room and explains the local legend and folklores to you, then he easily shifts gear and tells you about methods of torture performed. It was quiet a surreal experience.

On top of it all, the papier-mache figures and other objects that makes up the display is so comical, simple, hence FABALOUS, that I can't help but be a little in love with it all. We visit major museums and see these carefully curated art, objects of antiquity, dioramas, and then all of sudden we are in Leon, looking at a museum comprised of strange papier-mache figures and halloween decorations. Then again, why should this be any less of a museum as the Museum of Natural History in say NYC? Are we all not simply trying to tell our story, our history, our folklores in whichever way we can?