Inland from the far end of Recreio dos Bandeirantes is the Museu Casa do Pontal (Estrada do Pontal 3295, tel. 21/2490-3278, www.popular.art.br/museucasadopontal , 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun., R$5). Although it takes a while to get there (buses run from the Zona Sul), the final destination is worth it.
Back in the late ’40s, French designer and art collector Jacques Van de Beuque began traveling throughout Brazil  (especially the Northeast), where he discovered a fantastically rich artisanal tradition that nobody—not even Brazilians—was aware of. To preserve and promote these works, he built a vast house surrounded by tranquil gardens.
Today, the Museu Casa do Pontal shelters the largest collection of Brazilian folk art in the country, with over 5,000 works ranging from wonderful clay figures of popular Northeast characters to the extravagant costumes worn by celebrants of traditional Bumba-Meu-Boi festas.