Permanent Exhibitions

Native peoples and colonial times | Room 1

foto de emisiones sobre Pueblos originarios y etapa colonial

This is an exhibition of artwork from pre-Columbian cultures. Their economy was oriented towards human need satisfaction that was marked by a tight bond with Mother Earth.

The pieces exhibited recall “Bartering among Indigenous People” in reference to the Aztecs and Incas, the greatest cultures of American civilizations. Their economy was highly based on the exchange of goods such as cocoa seeds, corn grains, coca leaves, and small bladeless copper axes.

Moreover, “Spanish colonial coins”, such as “Macuquinas”, “Columnarias” and “De Busto” are in display.

“Macuquinas” XVI – XVIII centuries

The Mint House of Potosi was in charge of minting the first coins that circulated in the Viceroyalties of Peru and Rio de la Plata. It was founded in Villa Imperial near Cerro Rico in 1573. The first pieces were primitively struck, and gave birth to irregular-edged coins called “macuquinas”.

“Columnarias” (1767 – 1770)

In the mid eighteenth century, the Mint House of Potosi started using a modern machine called “screw press” (in Spanish, “balancín”), which allowed for making considerable improvements to colonial currency. The screw press produced the first perfectly rounded coins called “reeded coins” (in Spanish, “de cordoncillo”) because of the shape of their edge.

“De Busto” (1773 – 1825)

This type of coins were made as from 1732, under the reign of Philip V of Spain. They showed the monarch’s profile wearing a big wig of those times. For that reason, they were informally known as “big wigs” (in Spanish, “peluconas”).