History of the Miguel Angel Builes Ethnographic Museum
In the decade of the 50, in the Seminary of Missions of Yarumal, began to collect objects elaborated by the natives of the places where the missionaries realized the first missions: From the region of Magdalena Medio, crossing by the old territory of the Apostolic Prefecture From Labateca, until reaching Arauca and later the territories of the Great Vaupes that currently covers the departments of Vaupes, Guaviare and Guainia, Istmina (Choco) and Buenaventura on the Pacific Coast. This was the origin of what we know today as MIGUEL ANGEL BUILES ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM (MEMAB).
Appointed in honor of Bishop Miguel Angel Builes, founder of the Yarumal Missionaries, the museum began at the Yarumal Missions Seminary in 1962. In 1970, the then Superior General of the Missionaries, Father Heriberto Correa Yepes, and The General Council of the Community, determined the construction of a building in the city of Medellin that was destined for a museum, and share with the community this important collection of objects that show a great cultural richness of the indigenous and Afro ethnic groups. The Yarumal Missionaries interact in Colombia and other regions of Latin America, Africa and Asia. The General Council of the Missionaries of Yarumal commissioned Father Francisco Arango Montoya, the management of the foundation of the museum in the city of Medellin and as its first director. Father Arango was distinguished for his dedication to the study of indigenous cultures and to cartography in various areas of Colombia, which is why he earned and received the title of anthropologist, Honoris Causa, from the National University of Colombia..
In 1972, Brother Bernardo Arboleda, was in charge of the management of the transfer of the objects that were in the seminar of Yarumal and worked in the organization and arrangement of the exhibition halls to open the doors to the public the 29 of September of the same one Year, on the occasion of the celebration of the first anniversary of the death of the Founder, Monsignor Builes.
El Museo cuenta con un inventario de más de dos mil piezas etnográcas de uso cotidiano, ritual y de subsistencia, representativos de diversas culturas de Colombia y de otros países, dispuestas en cinco salas de exposición permanente: Amazonía, Antioquia y Chocó, Caribe, Asia, África y Latinoamérica y Sala Arqueológica. Cuenta, además, con una sala temporal donde se realizan exposiciones de artes visuales y exposiciones temáticas y ofrece también una programación educativa y cultural.
Since 2009 MEMAB has begun a process of updating and renewal, which has had the support of various institutions, including the City Hall of Medellín through the Secretariat of Citizen Culture and its programs of PADRINO PLAN and PUBLIC TRAINING; The Ministry of Culture of the Colombian government, through the calls for incentives in which the museum has won in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The MEMAB has also had the timely support of other benefactors such as The Missionaries of Scarborough, Toronto, Canada and individuals. Thus it has been able to renew its rooms with a new content and audiovisual aids, seeking to update itself from the new advances of museology and museography.
At present, MEMAB continues to seek strategic alliances with other institutions, with the objective of continuing with its work of preserving and disseminating the cultural heritage of the ethnic groups of Colombia and other regions of the world where they carry out their missionary activity the Javerian Missionaries of Yarumal .