Housed in an elegant 19th-century mansion in a quiet part of Botafogo, the Indian Museum's collection is one of the most important in Latin America, with over 14,000 artifacts, 16,000 papers and books on indigenous topics, and over half a million historical documents on Brazilian Indian tribes. All that sounds a little dry, but the museum is anything but. Instead, its exhibits are some of the most innovative and artistic I have come across in a Brazilian museum, including striking wall-size black-and-white photos adorned with colored feathers and a display on kids' toys where the objects dangle from the ceiling at various heights. The symbolism of the hunt is portrayed in a dark room with just a ray of light illuminating the floor, casting an eerie glow on spears and animal skulls. There are no signs in English, but the exhibits are so vivid they speak for themselves. For kids there is a gallery with (washable) body paint and a large selection of stamps so they can practice adorning themselves as warriors, hunters, chiefs, or shamans. It's a great spot for children and an easy place to spend 2 hours. As a good portion of the displays are outside, avoid going on a rainy day.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010