Martes a Sabado y Feriados de 09:00 a 14:00 hs y de 17:00 a 22:00 hs – Domingos de 17:00 a 22:00hs
It shows us the santiaguenian behinf closed doors. People from the higher classes, in mid-19th century, showed their status through decoration. Busts were made in honor to the head of the family, such as Manuel Taboada or PastoritaGorostiaga one. Paintings of great size were made for the rest of the family members, as we can see on others rooms. These paintings were also show their social status. (Erminia Montes de Taboada’s painting)
As family life was governed by a rigorous patriarchal system, the home was the place where women were made visible. You could feel the feminine air in each house’s room, but especially when visitors arrived and women showed the crockery. The crockery was the most distinctive thing on the house. It was made specifically of porcelain brought from Europe and made for each family with their initials. It was usually acquired in Potosí; the more luxurious and engraved was the crockery, the more refined were their owners.
The art of presenting the table was very important in the past and even nowadays. Different platters, trays, tureens, cutlery, and pitchers delicately sculpt were shown on the table. As the time goes by, the platería criolla had a new trend: simplicity. This can be seen in this mate collection with an unworried and different stages style. Among these mates, the most notorious is the one representing the black people. We can see children faces wroughted on its feet. It draws our attention because this part of the society, the black minority, is not usually present on the platería. However, they were part of the cebado, they served the mate. Maybe they were considered another piece of the platería. The muleque, a black kid, used to do this minor job. The black man was bought as a private property, so they were treated as objects, something to be used for a purpose.
At the afternoon, drinking mate with the family was the favorite time to get closer with friends and family. When they got prepared for visits, the women showed their education through good conversations, good manners and also elegant jewelry. On the ladies ajuar we could find combs, chokers, pendant, hair decoration needle, bracelets, earrings, brooches and glass perfume bottles with dip stick. They also had and wore religious objects such as crosses, brooches with phrases, medals and rosaries. In some high-class houses we could find Catholic ceremonials such as holy chalices, patens and aspergillums.
The men’s behavior represented the honor of his family. He was the breadwinner, the protection giver and the one in control; in addition, he was the family’s representative before society. These intangible aspects were symbolically manifested with the acquisition of items that adorned the appearance of the gentlemen: watches, cufflinks, medals and canes for special occasions. Their clothes combined with their mountings. They used to wear buckles and metal ornament with different chains and different thickness. On the mounting, they had stirrups, spurs and whips.
On the other hand, the desk was the man’s place at home. You could enter only if he allowed you to. A whole language of power was present in the magnificence of the furniture and in the silver articles of daily use such as inkwells, pens, medals, crucifixes that he displayed on the table. Inside this place, he decided on familiar issues, as marriage arrangements, decisions about children’s life, politics and economical family aspects that gave them a social position.
Lic. Alicia Guebel