‘El Galeón de Manila: The Spice Route’ reopens museum in Puerto Vallarta

With the exhibit, El Galeón de Manila: The Spice Route, the Archaeological Museum of Puerto Vallarta, “Cuale”, reopened its doors. The exhibit is an approach to the culinary, economic and cultural exchange that flourished in the New Spain era between the current territories of Mexico, the Philippines, and Spain. The Jalisco campus of the Institute National Anthropology and History (INAH) was closed for three years due to Hurricane ‘Patricia’ passing through the city.

INAH Jalisco highlighted the importance of the reopening of the museum, which included remodeling in order to make it available to the public again, and concatenate it with the centenary of the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, held on May 31st.

Accompanied by the curator of the exhibition and director of the Historical Museum of Acapulco, Fort San Diego, Víctor Hugo Jasso, the director of the INAH Center Jalisco said that “the priority of the institute is to keep its museum offer available to the local public and national and foreign tourists that visit Puerto Vallarta.

El Galeón de Manila

He added that the architectural structure of the Cuale was not damaged by Hurricane Patricia, but the small Cuale island where it is located did receive flooding.

At that time and as a preventive measure, the archaeological collection of the museum was packed and taken to the Regional Museum of Guadalajara (MRG), where it was safeguarded until now. It is planned that next September, once the temporary exhibition on the Manila Galleon has concluded, this collection will return to the Cuale with an updated museography.

The exhibition El Galeón de Manila: The Spice Route has multimedia resources in English and Spanish. You visit at the Archaeological Museum of Puerto Vallarta, Cuale (Isla Cuale Local 1-A, Col. Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco) until next August 25. Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Free entry.

The exhibition El Galeón de Manila: The Spice Route, was organized by Víctor Jasso to investigate the collections of the MRG and the site under his charge in Acapulco, in order to gather 200 pieces that represent the exchange of customs and culture that existed from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century between Asia, America, and Europe, via the also called Nao of China.

In addition to metal utensils and historical objects of ivory that were formerly imported from the Philippines, the temporary exhibition reproduces a kitchen acclimated according to Novohispanic usage.

The idea of this space is to illustrate some of the foods, such as pepper, cinnamon, and cloves, which for 250 years arrived at the port of Acapulco along with shipments of porcelain, silks and other goods destined for New Spain or the metropolis; all this in a commercial route that introduced the Asian continent to products such as corn and chocolate, among others.

Two scale ships made in contemporary times are also exhibited, but with the same materials as their historical references. One of them, with which the exhibition begins, is a reproduction of the San Pedro Galleon, a ship that just covered the Philippines-Acapulco route; the other model corresponds to the cross-section of a Galeón, with the aim of showing the visitor what the internal space of the ships was like, the disposition of its elements and daily life on the high seas.


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