Located on Kira road about 2km from the city centre is Uganda’s display of its culture and heritage in the national museum of Uganda, the oldest in East Africa,
Located on Kira road about 2km from the city centre is Uganda’s display of its culture and heritage in the national museum of Uganda, the oldest in East Africa, and perhaps the best rooted in the ethnographic collection first exhibited in 1905 in a small Greek temple near Luggard’s fort on old Kampala hill.
Formerly established in 1908, the museum was initially known by the local Baganda as a Nyumba ya Mayembe (house of fetishes)and its exhibits were believed to bestow supernatural powers on the colonial administrations. In 1954, the museum relocated to the present site on Kira road. For those with the interest in pre-colonial Africa history, there are stimulating displays on the Nakayima tree Ntusi and Bigo Bya Mugenyi, as well as aspects of Uganda’s history. Of more general interest is the fantastic collection of traditional musical instruments from all over the continent and the ethnographic gallery, which houses a variety of exhibits relating to the traditional Uganda lifestyle.
The traditional music section is perhaps one of the interesting sections. Besides seeing the traditional music instruments you can also play the instruments. They are arranged in order of the major instruments like the drums, percussion, wind and string instruments
A red door leads into the ethnographic museum. The assorted and well described ethnographic collection, of over 100000 pieces of natural history, cultural, religious articles portray our past and present. Displays of the remains of a Napak rhino, a species that became extinct eight million years ago will surely impress naturalists. Bark clothes, traditional stools from all over the country, traditional clothes, weapons of justice from all over the country are some of the displays that grace the walls of the ethnographic section. Take a close look at Idi Amin’s presidential Mercedes.
Outside the museum is the cultural village that depicts the different architectural plans and lifestyles of the different regions of Uganda. Assortments of traditional regalia are present for those who would like to experience the lifestyle of the traditional people. Baskets, gourds, milk pots, crockery and cutlery, are some of the items you will find here. The western region is well represented with the Bamba house for the Bamba people, Kigezi houses for the Bakiga, Ankole house for the Banyankole, Hima house for the Bahima, Toro and Bunyoro house for the Batooro and Bunyoro. In all these houses you will experience the traditions and lifestyles of the western Ugandan cultures and their attachment to cattle and milk.
Crossing over to the eastern part of Uganda is the Busoga House for the Busoga, Jopadhola House for the Jopadhola, Bugisu House for the Bagisu, Teso House for the Itesots and the Karamajong House for the Karamajong.
Other houses include Acholi House, Lango House, the Alur House and Madi House from northern Uganda. The houses contain hunting and war tools used in the region.
And finally, the Buganda House that represents people from the central region. The house has backcloth, drums, and baskets for Luwombo, hunting nets, wooden sandals (emikalabanda), and the Mweso game popular among the Baganda.
However, even if I wanted to I would never full exhaust for you the exhibits you will find and even then when I do what will you see when you get there. Grab your small bag and tick off a few hours to visit the gorgeous epitome of wisdom on culture history and nature.