Casa de la Cultura Museum of Leonardo Valdez EsquerEtchojoa, Sonora, Mexico
Leonardo Valdez Esquer loved Mexican history and culture. He collected thousands of items from all parts of Mexico, and when he died in 2014 he left behind an impressive collection of artifacts from indigenous cultures and life in Mexico.
The Museo Casa de la Cultura de Leonardo Valdez Esquer, located in the Southern Sonora city of Etchojoa, is an amazing museum of traditional art and modern culture. There is so much here that you can easily spend hours admiring the museum collection.
Its eight salons contain an amazing quantity and variety of museum pieces such as ceremonial masks and artifacts; ceramics, paintings and furniture; musical instruments; ancient wooden tools and grave markers; puppets and paper mache piñatas and figures; antique popular toys; an a collection of dolls.
After walking through the lush garden-patio entrance to the museum, the first great room is dedicated to the indigenous culture of the Mayo people of Southern Sonora and Northern Sinaloa. The walls are filled with masks, robes, banners, and wooden artifacts that had been used for washing and performing other chores.
Static displays demonstrate Mayo traditional religious ceremonies and other aspects of Mayo culture, including drums, harps and other musical instruments. I had originally thought that this large, (filled) room was the totality of the Leonardo Valdez Esquer collection. But it was just the first stop.
After the Mayo collection we entered a room filled with antique furniture, paintings, rugs and other furnishings. After that there was a room completely filled with masks from all over Mexico, a room filled with puppets and marionettes, a room filled with all kinds of antique dolls, a room filled with incredibly creative paper mache figures, a room with shelves and shelves of Mexican toys, and a room filled with ceramic wall hangings.
The final stop was the museum’s auditorium, which is used for educational presentations and other group gatherings.
Although you will never have the opportunity to meet Leonardo Valdez Esquer, after walking through this expansive and unique collection that he assembled, you may feel that you understand his love for art, history and culture based on the marvelous museum that he established.
The Museo Casa de la Cultura de Leonardo Valdez Esquer is located on highway 352, the Navojoa-Huatabampo highway, about 1/4 mile south of the railroad tracks in Etchojoa.