Archaeological Museum (Ecury Building)

Archaeological Museum (Ecury Building)

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Located: Schelpstraat 42, (behind the Kong Hing Supermarket in Havenstraat) Oranjestad

The renovated historic Ecury complex in downtown Oranjestad has been transformed from a family home to a modern museum that preserves Aruba’s Amerindian cultural heritage.

The oldest part is a cunucu house built in 1870 by the grandparents of Boy Ecury, a young Aruban hero of World War II who lived in the house from 1922 – 1937. The newest section is a large mansion built in 1929. Great care has been taken to preserve the beauty and historic character of the original buildings that house the welcome area, cafeteria, educational center and offices.

They are now integrated with a new building housing a state-of-the-art 21st century museum especially designed to preserve valuable artifacts. The three periods of Amerindian habitation are documented: Pre-Ceramic period of 2500 BC – 1000 AD when semi-nomadic bands of Amerindians migrated from the South or Central American mainland; Ceramic Period of the Caquetio Indians, the hunters-fishers-gatherers who inhabited Aruba from 900 – 1515 AD until enslaved and taken to Hispaniola; and the Historic Period from 1515 – 1880 AD.

Special technology allows visitors to take an active role in discovering the past. The daily routines of island dwellers from thousands of years ago come alive through film and audio presentations. The Amerindians left behind ornaments, shells, ceramics, amulets and burial practices. The first floor is devoted to the lifestyle of the early inhabitants of the Ceramic Period. The built-to-scale maloca hut of the Caquetio Indians dominates the main gallery; the second floor is dedicated to cultural and religious practices and the influences of neighboring societies on mainland South America.

Of special interest is the cistern used by the Ecury family to store rainwater gathered from the roof. Expositions include a film on ancient Amerindian life from the Field Museum in Chicago and works by contemporary island artists with historical themes.

(Source: www.aruba.com)

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