The area occupied by the museum was home to several groups of the Calima culture, groups that varied according to their chronology and art forms. They were the Ilama, Yotoco, Sonso, and Malagana tribes.

Due to the uniqueness of the objects on display, the museum has become a vital site for archaeologists researching the cultures that created them. This research has been a very important because, historically, southwestern Colombia has been the focus of attention of guaqueros (treasure hunters) who unlawfully have laid their hands on these ancient treasures.

The exhibit is complemented by videos, conferences, workshops, and events in the museum’s theater.