Barbados Museum & Historical Society (246) 427-0201. M-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 2-6pm.
Located inside a lovely 19th-century Colonial building that once housed a British military prison, this museum opened in 1934. It offers a look at the history and evolution of Barbados with exhibits and artifacts spanning five centuries. The collection includes objects from the area’s original Amerindian inhabitants, furnishings from an 18th-century plantation home, and antique maps of the region. My favorite exhibit is a temporary one I saw--“She Sells Seashells.” Apparently the museum has more than 2,500 shells that rotate in and out. The African Gallery is also of special interest with its displays of musical instruments and a reproduction of the world’s oldest mother and child footprints. My favorite exhibit in that gallery is of a Shaggy Bear egun gun. A traditional costume made in one piece, it is designed so the face cannot be seen and acts as a vessel for messages from the gods. People donate a piece of cloth to receive a blessing. Though it no longer has this religious significance, you’ll see Shaggy Bears in various celebrations. The Cunard Gallery displays five interesting paintings that depict the sugar-making process. Visitors can also enter some of the 75 old prison cells. An interactive children’s gallery focuses on historical education. Rare documents, historical records, and photographs, as well as hard-to-find books are achieved in the Shilstone Memorial Library. Special events are sometimes scheduled in the cobblestone courtyard and gardens.
|exterior of Barbados Museum & Historical Society in Barbados|
|interior courtyard of Barbados Museum & Historical Society in Barbados|
|art print at Barbados Museum & Historical Society in Barbados|
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images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers