Museo des Artes Folklórico
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
The Museo des Artes Folklórico Tomás Morel (Av. Restauración 174, tel. 809/582-6787, 9 a.m.–noon and 3:30–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., free) was the brainchild of Tomás Morel, a celebrated Dominican poet and cultural critic. In its somewhat dusty walls is a great abundance of traditional Santiago Carnaval memorabilia, including a collection of ornate handmade masks from the region’s celebration of the annual event.
This museum provides one of the better keyhole observations into the traditions of the country’s beloved event. Here you will learn about all of the different costumed characters of the tradition, like the lechones who wear elaborate costumes and were originally meant to keep order by marching ahead of the parade and creating a path through the crowds.
They had, at one time, carried small staffs to shoo the onlookers, but they were eventually replaced by sisal rope whips, and later an inflated pig’s bladder was attached to the end of the sisal rope.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition