Displaying Tanzania’s Unique Cultural Heritage
Tanzania’s fabulous cultural heritage is on display in the six branches of the National Museum of Tanzania. The new National Museum and House of Culture hosts wonders of archaeological findings. Surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of Dar-es-Salaam, is the home of the famed “Nutcracker Man” found by archeologists Mary and Luis Leakey in 1959 in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, where this ancestor of modern humans lived around 1.75 million years ago.
Jackson Kihiyo, Acting Director General explains that the National Museum group also includes the Village Museum just outside Dar-es-Salaam, the Arusha Declaration Museum and the National History Museum in Arusha, the Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere Museum (honoring Tanzania’s first president) in eastern Lake Victoria, and the Majimaji Memorial Museum in southern Tanzania.
The museums attract both visitors to Tanzania and locals, particularly during the country’s annual Ethnic Days event celebrating Tanzania’s 120 ethnic groups. Jackson Kihiyo says that the National Museum has established partnerships with museums in Sweden, Germany, Kenya, Spain and Russia to help make the world more aware of Tanzania’s cultural heritage. He adds, “Tanzania has long been known for wildlife tourism but it is high time visitors learned more about our people and their cultures!”
Temporary exhibitions highlight cultural diversity
The new National Museum and House of Culture features many interactive displays, including ones geared to children, and hosts exciting temporary exhibitions on different themes, including the current “Human Evolution,” “History Gallery”, and “Art Gallery” shows. The National Museum and House of Culture also has a restaurant specializing in dishes from Tanzania’s many ethnic cuisines. Jackson Kihiyo concludes, “Visitors to Tanzania will have an opportunity to see the best collection ever when it comes to human evolution as well as the unique cultures of our ethnic groups. They can see our casts of footsteps made by people living in Africa millions of years ago who became the ancestors of all of us all over the world.”