|Jaime Barranco in his doorway.|
Bogotá Bike Tours visited the other day.
Words such as varied, disparate or eclectic don't come close to capturing Macumba, with its collections of indigenous sculptures, perfume bottles, Barbie dolls, African masks and chinese artifacts. But perhaps the most interesting item on display is Jaime Barranco himself, the museum's creator, collector and organizer, as well as the inventor of the sometimes-fanciful, always colorful, stories behind the objects.
|Click for a slideshow|
Jaime Barranco plays his drum
Barranco, who says he's in his 80's, but looks decades younger and often displays the enthusiasm of a teenager, recounts that as a young man he traveled throughout Latin America collecting stuff. He hasn't told me how he got the things from Asia and Africa.
Possessing this trove of objects and a small apartment, Barranco turned necessity into a virtue by converting the apartment into a sort of museum (he rejects that word, perhaps because it suggests a static collection. He also doesn't like the words 'teaching' and 'learning,' preferring to talk about 'incorporating knowledge.'
Many of Barranco's explanations for his objects sound a bit fanciful to me, although they're interesting nevertheless. Others might have a real base in anthropological science, like his explanation of the four phases of human life, each represented by a different animal's qualities. Then there's the indigenous sculpture of a half-monkey, half-boy mastubating, which I won't detail.
|An indigenous sculpture of a youth at work|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours