The Museum of Popular and Indigenous Cultures of Sonora

Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

The Museum of Popular and Indigenous Cultures of Sonora is a center of education and displays related to the indigenous cultures not only of Sonora, but of Mexico and the world. The museum, which is located on one side of Plaza Bicentenario in downtown Hermosillo, features information and exhibits related to the eight established Sonoran indigenous groups.

Seven of the groups were original inhabitants of Sonora:

Cucapá
Tohono O’odham, or Papago
Makurawe, or Guarijío
Yoreme, or Mayo
Comcáac, or Seri
Yoeme, or Yaqui, and
O’ob, or Pima.

The eighth indigenous group, the Kikapú, are of migrant origin but have had a presence of more than 100 years in Sonora.

The building that houses the museum was originally a home designed by renowned local architect Plutarco Diaz for German immigrant Herr Grürinig, who along with his partners Dr. Alberto Hoeffer and James Schusley established the Cervecería de Sonora brewery in Hermosillo in 1898. The house was completed in 1904, and after Grürinig’s death the house was passed on to his partner Dr. Hoeffer, who later sold it to the state of Sonora. It is still known as the Casa de Hoeffer, or Hoeffer House.

On October 15, 1997, the Hoeffer House was officially opened as the Museum of Popular and Indigenous Cultures of Sonora. The museum has five exhibition rooms, organized according to the geographic locations of the various native peoples. The rooms contain information about the history and cultures of the various ethnic groups, along with photos, paintings and displays of items that tell a unique story for every cultural group.

The building’s courtyard features a mural by the extraordinary artist Ethel Cooke and murals by Arte Facto del Sol  and Enrique G.

The upstairs area is office space for the Sonoran Institute of Culture’s Regional Unit of Popular Cultures, the Information and Documentation Center, and research areas. The second-floor hallway also features more fabulous murals and messages by  Ethel Cooke providing amazing visual depictions of the indigenous peoples of Sonora.

In addition to serving as a museum, the Museum of Popular and Indigenous Cultures of Sonora is also a center for research and provides educational programs for all ages of learners, from preschool students to post-graduate researchers. It has been a source of information for many television programs such as the Discovery Channel and Televisa, and has provided information for master’s and doctoral theses prepared by academics from Mexico, the United States, Germany, France and Peru.

The Museum of Popular and Indigenous Cultures of Sonora is a must-see cultural learning experience for your exploration of Hermosillo, to better understand the richly diverse and fascinating history and cultural landscape of the state of Sonora.