The Puebla Regional Museum houses a collection of extraordinary cultural value and aesthetic appeal, as well as being part of the 5 de Mayo Civic Center Los Fuertes, made up of the Museum of Non-Intervention Fuerte de Loreto, the Historic Monument Fuerte de Guadalupe, the Museum Interactive Imagine, the Planetarium, the Auditorium of the Reformation and the Expositor Center of Puebla. This area is emblematic of the history, culture and social life of the city of Puebla, which gives it a privileged location to the Regional Museum, having the opportunity to be a central cultural space of the City and the State.
In 1962, as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the battle of May 5, 1862, a project called Unidad Cívica 5 de Mayo was created, which succinctly attempted to be an urban architectural project that converts a monumental area into historical in a kind of park-monument for the enjoyment of the population.
The architectural and urban projects were entrusted to Arch. Abraham Zabludovsky who, together with Arch. Luis G. Rivadeneyra as coordinator and collaborating architects Jorge Ferraez, Pedro Flores, R. Torres Garza and Arturo Ortega, were in charge of the projects. of the Auditorium of the Reformation, of the fountain dedicated to the General Ignacio Zaragoza, of the urban planning of the area, of the restoration of the Fort of Loreto, of the consolidation of the Fort of Guadalupe, as well as of the creation of the school of crafts of the state, which later became the Regional Museum and the INAH-Puebla center.
The creation of the Regional Museum takes place fourteen years after the 5 de Mayo Civic Unit was created and gradually. In the first instance, from 1974 the state crafts school gave INAH a space in this property to house the regional offices and the Puebla Regional Museum, adopting its current image after carrying out a remodeling project in the same year. .
In 1984 a semi-detached space was built on the south west side of the property, 8.50 meters wide by 30.50 meters long. This addition consists of two floors, on the ground floor the library of the INAH Center was adapted, and on the upper floor a temporary exhibition room 4 meters wide and 30.50 meters long was thought to be currently used as an administrative area.
During 2008 the Museum Restructuring project began, currently having the rehabilitated educational services area and a new image both on the façade and on the graphics, to date new pieces have been integrated into the Archeology and History room for strengthen the museum discourse and thus be able to offer our visiting public a better service.
As for spaces, the museum is made up of two levels: the first is a basement where the library (344.36 square meters), the warehouse for museum material (187.26 square meters) and the educational services area composed of a lobby (69.08 square meters) are located. ), office (17.82 square meters), workshop (75.36 square meters), toilets (17.10 square meters) and auditorium (91.21 square meters).
Two exhibition rooms are located on the first level, the first is the permanent room (1,385 square meters) that exhibits the museum’s 10% of assets and is distributed through a central courtyard (206 square meters) in four sections: introductory room, archeology room, history room and ethnography room; the second is the temporary room (337 square meters). Public spaces such as: lobby (148.48 square meters), ticket office (5.9 square meters), toilets (20.42 square meters), publications and reproductions store (25.69 square meters) and offices (232.88 square meters).
The territory of the current State of Puebla offers practically all the natural climates and regions of the planet, from the arid deserts of the south, to the rain forests of the Sierra Norte.
Its first inhabitants, descendants of those who walked from Siberia to Alaska, much more than fifty thousand years ago, found a variety of fauna from which they could feed by hunting, always forced to live in groups in order to act and defend themselves.
His descendants, thousands of years later, formed a very wide and varied cultural region called Mesoamerica.
The oldest evidence of human activity in Puebla dates back to around 7000 BC in the Tehuacán Valley. From this time we have stone instruments such as axes, scrapers, and carved stone knives, which the Aborigines made and used to hunt and gather herbs and wild fruits to meet their food, shelter, and clothing needs. In addition, we can see remains of ixtle ropes, avocado seeds, amaranth branches and remains of Teozintle cobs, the latter the first variety of corn cultivated by humans in the American continent.
The geographical and climatic conditions of the Puebla-Tlaxcala valley have been conducive to life since very ancient times. During the Formative horizon (200 BC to 200 AD) there was an important process of occupation of the territory; the societies of that time were sustained by means of agriculture. The importance given to nature and material progress resulted in the development of religion and magical thinking. An example of this is human burials, in which the body of the deceased was placed dressed in green stone jewels and protected within a “magic fence”.
High culture flourished during the Classic horizon (200 AD to 900 AD) in the Puebla Valley. The most important city of the time was Cholula, a sacred city where a wide diversity of cultures came together. An important element of this stage is the thin orange type pottery, produced in the Ixcaquixtla area, south of Puebla, and which was among the finest and most precious merchandise circulating in Mesoamerica.
The museum has an excellent sample of polychrome codex ceramics, produced by Cholultecan potters during the Postclassic horizon (900 AD to 1521 AD). The Mexica empire dominated much of Mesoamerica during this time, and evidence of this is scattered throughout the state of Puebla. The museum has a sculpture modeled in clay that represents Xipe Tótec, god of spring, recovered from the explorations of Tepexi el Viejo, which shows us the influence of the religion of the Mexicas in the Mixtec region in the late pre-Hispanic period. .
The conquest of Mexico
The Lienzo de Tlaxcala illustrates the entry of the Spanish conquerors into the Puebla-Tlaxcalteca valley. The social change of this period was evidenced in several sculptural pieces, such as the dog covered in plumage – not hair – from Tepeaca, and the baptismal font in Tecamachalco, in which we can see the indigenous workforce interpreting the ideas and the religion imposed by the conquerors.
The colonial era
During the viceroyalty, Puebla was a first class agricultural and industrial region. Since its foundation, it has been the nucleus of industries such as textiles, glass, soap, carpentry, blacksmithing, masonry, joinery, tannery, saddlery, silverware and earthenware. In the museum we can appreciate a wide variety of objects from Talavera Poblana, stewed wood sculptures and painting. Most of these pieces come from sites and activities related to religion, since Puebla stood out during the colonial era as a devout city.
The independent period
This time is marked by confusion in the population due to political and military events, since during three quarters of the 19th century the city suffered ten sites and numerous social upheavals; of these military activities there are some guns, weapons and uniforms.
From this period (1876-1911) a float and some elegant dresses are exhibited that allow us to appreciate the opulence with which the privileged classes lived. Followed by these we have a sample of objects such as helmets and military hats, as well as weapons and utensils of the time.
Puebla occupies an important position in the process of political and social change of the 20th century. In the museum there are books, lampoons and photographs that illustrate the revolutionary atmosphere that would culminate in the heroic deed of the Serdán brothers, which would start the Mexican Revolution in November 1910, and which would be the origin of the formation of contemporary Mexico.
Contemporary Mexico is a multicultural mosaic, in which the rural population has an important role. The museum has a wide sample of instruments, tools and utensils used by various peasant communities in their productive activities. We can see machinery for the benefit of coffee from the Sierra Norte, systems for the development of beekeeping, instruments for the production of ceramics, instruments for collecting pulque, all from different regions of the state.
In addition, we can see some samples of fabric in ixtle and palm, joinery, blacksmithing, tannery and leatherworking. This sample includes technology of pre-Hispanic and colonial origin; of external and local origin.
In the museum we can perceive culture in an intimate way, since it is an unnatural mechanism that humanity has developed in order to survive and reproduce. In this way, together with the great works of human ingenuity, the objects of daily life are considered as vital elements that link us with nature. Everyday life is represented in the museum by a series of objects such as furniture, clothing, toys, medicines and school supplies that in contemporary times are part of our popular culture.
Dance is a cultural element of great importance. There is dance and dancing as fun or as an artistic activity; however, it can also be ritual. The museum has a collection of costumes and masks that show us the cultural diversity and artistic wealth of Puebla. For example, from the dance of Los Voladores, from the Sierra Norte; Los Tecuanes, which comes from the south of the state; Los Negritos and Los Huehues dances, more typical of the central region, among others.
The circle of life
Culture, as a characteristic of the human condition, is marked by the cycle of life in its different stages. The museum displays a collection of ornaments made from colored paper, fabric, wax and plastic, which refers to the life of a human being from birth, through marriage and, finally, death. This collection comes from San Gabriel Chilac, in the south of Puebla, and with it ends our tour of the museum.
In this museum there is a box office, toilets, a reproduction station and INAH publications, an auditorium, a library, and there are also guided tours on request.