Judith Kain House Museum in Puerto Cabezas

Located on the Caribbean coastline in the Autonomous North Atlantic Region (RAAN) of Nicaragua, the municipality of Puerto Cabezas offers visitors tranquility and unspoiled nature, along with warm hospitality. Visitors who are interested in the history and culture of this little slice of paradise should be sure to visit the Judith Kain House Museum in the town of Bilwi, once the home of Nicaraguan artist Judith Kain and now the showcase of the diverse cultures found in the region.

Upon entering the museum, visitors will see a variety of sculptures and paintings created by local artists, including a collection of Judith Kain’s works. On this level of the building there is also a section where children can explore their creativity through painting. The second floor consists of four sections exhibiting images, sculptures, paintings, manuscripts and a variety of historical artifacts related to the legends, mythologies, traditions and religion of the community which is made up primarily of Miskito, German and English cultures. The Moravian Church has been present in Nicaragua since 1847 when German Moravian missionaries arrived in Bluefields. They worked primarily among ethnic groups on the Caribbean coast and today up to 96 percent of the more than 80,000 of the country’s Moravian adherents are residing in this area. This is also evident at the Judith Kain House Museum where there is a wall dedicated to church artifacts and an outdoor altar.

Other features of the museum include maps setting out the ancient Miskito kingdom, some of which date back to 1855, as well as maps of biosphere reserves and indigenous regions of Nicaragua. Another room has on display traditional costumes from a dozen or more countries, including Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Guatemala, along with indigenous musical instruments and traditional crafts.

The museum also features Judith Kain’s bedroom as it was when she lived there, complete with family photos and personal items she treasured, such as the cross displayed on the bed. While her expressive art may be a visual reminder of the life of Judith Kain, she is also remembered locally for her compassion during the revolution, where she raised her children, some grandchildren, and even children of others in the community who had left to join in the struggles. In the museum there is a wall where the Sandinista Revolution is documented, and another displaying documents detailing the principles of autonomy relating to RAAN. The Judith Kain House Museum is certainly, an attraction worth visiting when in Puerto Cabezas.