Room 1, according to the museum’s website, contains pieces of the Mayab Nature and Culture, the Mayab is located on the peninsular flat region with subterranean fresh water and very little soil. This region is home to mangroves, jungles, swamps and savannahs. After three thousand years of occupation they left a mark on the region with the help of agriculture. Room 2 is Mayas de Hoy which translates to The Mayas of today. The Mayas were diverse in many ways but were related culturally, physically, linguistically yet a single form of Mayas did not exist. Each having their own dialect and adapting to practicing their ancestors customs in their own way. Room 3 is Mayas of Yesterday which exhibits the conquest and transformation of the Mayan culture. Cities were destroyed and abandoned because the Indians had to undergo the demands of the Spaniards. The Last room is Ancient Mayas, which offers the history of the ancient Maya and elaborates on a lesson that although they connected with diverse environments they still knew how to improve their quality of life and expand their culture without destroying it.
The Mayas faced natural disasters, oppression, and overcrowding but they still managed to maintain their traditions by strengthening their family ties. And, this museum offers an insight into the Mayan universe that to this day has left an impact.
Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco said the museum holds “prophecies, carved in stone, dating from 5, 125 years ago, which herald a new era beginning in the year 2012.” One of the museum’s most interesting attractions is the temporary exhibition hall. Its goal is to bring, on loan, collections belonging to other museums and institutions to be exhibited for periods of three to six months.
There is also a screening room with seating capacity for 360 people, which will be open to the public even outside the museum’s hours of operation to promote seasonal cycles of cinema, theater and chamber music.
The building’s facade is adorned with an installation by French artist Xavier de Richemont titled Yacama ‘Ya’ Ab. Inspired by Mayan culture and traditions, the piece consists of 5 acts and 34 images projected onto the museum’s exterior walls, and a display of light, color and music, which makes the façade ever changing and different every minute.
The Grand Museum of the Mayan World in Merida was conceived with globalizing and cross-cultural ambitions. According to its representatives “its mission is to articulate and promote the creation of a network of museums that will serve as models for current and future museums in the Yucatan peninsula”. ■