After the Museum of the Republic, I went next door the Museum of Folkloric Art, which was free and as such had practically no labels or signs on anything. Basically, the first floors were clay sculptures of different scenes in Brazilian life, and a few of them were animatron-ated and one of the security guards turned on the "scenes" when I got to them, with these little clay figures making manioc or cutting coconuts, etc. It was cute, though not entirely impressive.
Another section was these exhibits of traditional Brazilian spaces, like a gaucho house and a manioc making hut, etc. Not exactly Disney, but OK. Then on the other floors they had beautiful sculptures, religious ornaments and sculptures, woven arts, and lots of costumes from traditional Brazilian holidays, like the bumba-boi from the North, Carnaval, and other things. I KNOW I KNOW I should have brought my camera. Next time.
One thing I especially enjoyed was some sort of Candomble statue of a huge black woman, naked on top, with a scepter of a human skull and a huge Jewish star pendant around her neck. I saw the Jewish star in a number of pieces, and it must have another meaning. My favorite things were these blown glass figurines and these bottles of glass with intricate designs of countrysides and palm trees and country life made entirely of sand (way more beautiful than those ones you can buy at American carnivals).
After that, I went to their gift shop, which had so many beautiful things, so I bought my mom a little present. Then I went to one of my favorite suco shops across the street, Polis Sucos, where I tried raspberry juice. I decided it's better as a fruit. Then I wandered around the gardens of the Museum of the Republic, where a group of elderly had made a circle out of benches and were having an impromtu pagode music session, and other people wandered around and ate at the cafe. The gardens are complete with lakes and streams, the required fake cave (not as cool as in Parque Lage), beautiful statues, and these huge crazy looking ducks, that looked more like a duck/swan hybrid because they were huge and white and fluffy--swucks!
Catete wins a Rachel Recommendation!
PS. Later I had an awkward run-in with my landlord, who was with his wife and daughter. I don't know how but they have a gorgeous blonde daughter about my age, though neither of them are beautiful or blonde. Anyway they had their new puppy with them and I may have to steal her: she is a little white sweetheart of a French Bulldog!