Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa (MAX)
The MAX contains almost 30 centuries of art and history. It houses the most important pre-Hispanic works produced in towns that are now a part of the state of Veracruz. The museum is part of the Univeridad Veracruzana and because of this retains a character of “living museum”, in other words it is an institution which changes due to research and updating collections. It was created in 1957 as the first museum of its kind in Mexico.
The museum exhibits select archeological patrimony and certain aspects characteristic of living ethic groups. The materials come from three areas which are dominated by huastec, tonatec and olmec locations found from the North to the South of Veracruz.
The MAX also has an ethnography room which exhibits elements of dress, utensils, furniture and living spaces characteristic of the different ethnicities which inhabit the regions of Veracruz and offers a wider vision of lifestyle, social organization, and beliefs and religious practices of the people.
Museum staff participate in restoration works in the archeological zone of el Tajín and currently are participating in the Vega de la Peña project in Atzalan, both sites are considered key to the pre-Hispanic culture.
Note from Della: Students with an Art Studio or Archeology background may be able to participate in the restoration of pieces for display in the museum.
Statements from past students:
“I had an internship at the Museum of Anthropology, where at times I felt out of place, but overall appreciated. Any internship in an organization affiliated with the UV will be considered a servicio social, which most UV students complete as part of their studies. I worked with other classmates who had larger terms than me, and after awhile I was able to give museum tours to school groups. “
“I completed my “Práctica Profesional” in the Museum of Anthropology of Xalapa, also known as the MAX. I worked in the Department of Cultural Diffusion, but there are also options in the Department of Education and the Restoration Facility (a great opportunity in particular for studio art or art history majors, restoring the archaeological pieces for display.) I mainly worked giving tours of the museum to groups ranging from elementary-level to university students. This was challenging because it is virtually impossible for a Middlebury student to take the guide education course due to scheduling, but after observing the museum pieces, studying written and audio guides, and following other tours, I had enough knowledge to give a basic tour. I also assisted the Coordinator of Cultural Diffusion in various day-to-day activities and also helped with special events in the Museum, including an international conference about the Olmec culture of the Gulf Coast. There is also a children’s program every Sunday called Los Cuates del MAX that I assisted with towards the end of the semester, but anyone interested should ask about it at the beginning of the semester because it is a good away to insure that you complete the weekly allotment of hours for the Middlebury program. In general, good communication skills are highly recommended, as you will be explaining Prehispanic art to museum visitors. After my experience, I would also recommend setting up a schedule where you can complete nine hours during the week and then the additional 3 hours at Cuates del MAX on the weekend. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know more about the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica in the Gulf Coast, an area that contains some of the oldest civilizations on the continent.”