This afternoon, Julia and I ventured to the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares de Sevilla (Museum of Popular Arts and Customs). One Spanish friend’s blunt remarks on the place were initially discouraging- “It’s really boring.” Hm. But with a wave of visitors beginning in March, Julia and I feel a responsibility to explore all of the city’s attractions, in order to be able to give definitive opinions on visit-worthy places (and not-so-worthy places). After all, a boring afternoon spent between the two of us is not as a tragic as one with a guest who has flown over 5,000 miles to see us.

The museum is located in the beautiful María Luisa park, in an ornately-decorated building leftover from the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. It houses a collection of everyday items, as well as re-constructions of traditional workshops and homes from Spain’s past. I felt like a visitor to planet earth, with plaques sporting statements such as “some decorative objects in homes are purely decorative while others also serve a practical purpose.” Just in case you hadn’t noticed…

However, Julia and I were entertained with some of the everyday objects of bygone eras. So, if you’re up to the challenge, let’s play a game of “Name that Ancient Spanish Item.” See if you can figure out what these were used for in real life…I’ll be impressed if you can!

Mystery Item #1

Mystery Item #2

Mystery Item #3

Mystery Item #4

Other entertaining items included…

Should I have this made into a doormat?

This sign in the section of artisanal tiles. Translation: “Blaspheming Prohibited.”

Perhaps originally used to serve sub-par coffee?

And this cup in the section on housewares. Doesn’t she have a striking resemblance to the Starbucks mermaid?

Concluding thoughts: the museum was lazy afternoon worthy, but definitely not transcontinental journey worthy. I learned some new things about a collection of old things. And I feel a refreshed appreciation for my coffee pot and electric heater!



PS- Thought I forgot about the guessing game? You guessed wrong! (Pardon the silliness, I really should be taking my siesta instead of writing this!)

Stumped about the items? I was! The Big Reveal…

#1: Heater

#2: Coffee grinder

#3: Olive oil and vinegar containers- can you imagine dressing your salad with these babies?

#4: Ceramic ink/pen holder

And all of them are from the 20th century! How’s that for surprising!