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Centro de Investigación del Patrimonio Etnológico

Reliquaries from the Museo’s Religiosity and Beliefs collection Reliquaries from the Museo’s Religiosity and Beliefs collection

More than 93,000 pieces make up the impressive museographic collection at the Centro de Investigación del Patrimonio Etnológico (CIPE), the results of accumulation and investigation work carried out by the Museo del Pueblo Español since 1932. The Ethnography collections are very varied and include important examples of Spain’s material culture, principally from the Contemporary Age. The collection is arranged into different sections:

  • Economic Activity: Focusing particularly on traditional production and transformation techniques, especially in agriculture, cattle farming and fishing. It also brings together examples of traditional businesses such as La Chocolatería El Indio, the Bisutería Otero or the Amado perfumery.
  • Domestic Objects: Furniture, kitchen equipment, illumination, heating …they all come together in this section which looks at domestic life over the last centuries. The Museo boasts one of the most important collections in Spain on the history of home appliances.
  • Toys: Traditional Spanish toys are mixed with important examples from foreign industries. The collection of tin toys, and of Mariquita Pérez and Nancy dolls, the two most important brands of doll in Spain, are the highlights of the collection.
  • Musical Instruments: Although not a large collection, the Museo has some unique examples from traditional Spanish music, such as Juan de Mármol’s piano or the guitar which belonged to Juan Pagés, as well as examples of popular instruments.
  • Religiosity and Beliefs: Material relating to beliefs and spirituality in Spain are brought together in this collection: amulets, ex-votos, medals … particularly impressive is the Mariano Archive, which documents the appearances of the Virgin Mary in our country.
  • Documental Collections: Ethnological heritage is not only the material assets that we associate with museums. In order to understand culture it’s also necessary to assess non-material heritage: spoken traditions, the art of entertainment, social uses, rituals, ceremonies, knowledge and practices relating to nature and the universe, as well as know-how and techniques relating to traditional crafts. These activities, which go beyond mere objects, are chronicled through the photograph and document archive as well as in the Museo’s library and music library.