SAN NICOLAAS — Meet Heintje Ras an Aruban fireman with a passion for the Aruban Culture. His love for everything that has to do with our heritage is visible in his day to day life at his own museum. Museo di Antiguedad “Nos Bieunan”. Museum of Antiqueness “our elderly”.
Since young Heintje has been taught to fix sewing machines. So whenever someone needed to fix a machine they would call him. While fixing a broken sewing machine at a home some years back he saw that the owners of the house had a very old sewing machine thrown in the backyard and he asked if he can have it. He took it home, fixed it and from there he got the idea to start collecting old artifacts that people wanted to throw away or had no use for it. For Heintje all these artifacts have a special meaning, a value, they all tell the story of our ancestors and our heritage. That is why he is trying to “rescue” all artifacts that tells a story of our past.
The collection started in his garage at home. More and more artifacts were gathered that it even got so crowded that he started putting them in his living room and continued to spread all over the house. That is where the idea came up to open up his house for the public. The need to educate specially kids but also people of all ages about our history and our ancestors is what lead him to open his own museum at his house. He feels joy when seeing kids interested in knowing the history of the artifact, how it works, especially since kids nowadays only know the digital era and everything is so easy to get. He also loves to share his knowledge of these artifacts and their original names in our Papiamento language.
At his museum you will find artifacts dated from the early 1600’s. From antique furniture, pots, pans, musical instruments, paintings, tools, lamps, sewing machines and so much more. There is a collection of around 1000 artifacts. He is in love with his whole collection but his favorite artifacts are a music box which was almost impossible for him to get but after a lot of negotiations he finally got it and also a cash register of over 100 years old that took him 8 years to get in his possession.
He still has a dream he wants to see come true this is to have a “Museum on Wheels”. A bus with all kinds of artifacts which he can drive all around the island and take it to all schools and closer to the tourists.
The museum is located at Rooi Master 5E, near Savaneta. For more information contact him on 5632121 or on facebook at Museo di Antiguedad ” Nos Bieunan”. Reservations are required.