[vc_row type=”vc_default” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”5″][vc_column][vc_column_text]Welcome to Blog #5. This introductory Blog focuses on category – MaKuYa Museum
As mentioned in the previous blog post, the MaKuYa museum grew out of the MaKuYa Festival. Its actual beginning was rather humorous and unexpected (though not particularly welcome). At the end of the first MaKuYa Festival in 2008 we stored several of our larger cultural exhibit artifacts in the plastic drums used for keeping water during the event. When it came time to unpack them and prepare for MaKaYa 2009 several of the artifacts had been lunch for insects. So, in order to avoid such loss after the 2009 festival we decided to display the cultural exhibit items in our front office and corridor. Well, what began as creative storage in 2009, became an “official” museum by 2013, and has since overtaken four more rooms of our office (including my former office and my bedroom – I now sleep in the guest room).
The museum’s five rooms contain artifacts related the lives of the Makonde, Makua, and Yao tribes in the Mtwara region. Room one is dedicated to artifacts and information related to domestic life, farming, hunting, trapping, textiles, food, storage, and items related to birth, death and marriage. Room two contains displays on traditional games, musical instruments, and water; as well as copies of photos, maps, and drawings from the 1908 German expedition through the Mtwara region. Room three focuses on Makonde carving in the form of performance masks, and a diversity of statues from the more recent tradition of carving for the tourist industry. The fourth room (also known as the hall) has photos and costuming from the MaKuYa Festival, photos of elders we have interviewed, and the GuideID audio system which is useful for illiterate visitors and those who wish to hear the sounds of the instruments and interviews with elders. Room five displays many maps in our “Kuijua Jiografia” – To Know Geography project where we capitalize on local passion for football/soccer by following the global matches leading up to the 2018 World’s Cup in Russia.
The museum grows in popularity with over 150 a month. One very rewarding result is that locals are hugely impacted to see their culture preserved and presented with care and respect. For decades many have believed that their heritage was backwards or unimportant due to colonial and socialist era influences. We are happy to be countering that impression, and hearing of visitor determining to return to their communities encouraged to save the stories and artifacts from their culture.
With the addition of the geography exhibit, and our intention to add more such learning experiences related to the solar system and the marine life on the Mtwara coast we have extended our name to the MaKuYa Cultural Museum and Learning Center. At present the MaKuYa Museum has taken the place the MaKuYa Festival as the primary focus of growth and attentions for ADEA in Tanzania.
Thank you – Asante Sana – Ashe Oleng
Douglas – Kupikita – Oloikurrkurr
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