Visit to the National Museum of Dar-es-Salaam

As projects take place Monday-Friday, interns and volunteers have the weekends for trips and other activities; such as visiting the National Museum of Dar es Salaam!

Last Saturday, myself and two other interns took a trip to Dar city centre. Starting in Tegeta, the journey lasted about two hours due to connecting buses in Mbusho and typical weekend traffic! Once there, before heading to the Museum, we stopped at the local fish market located near the ferry port for some lunch where we were able to have some  delicious fresh fish. En route to the museum we passed some notable buildings such as the offices belonging to parliamentary members and the official office of the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa.

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Working with Art in Tanzania, the Dar es Salaam National Museum has partnered with our organisation in which creating the program: Arts and Music Against Corruption in Africa. This program sees how we can use the arts; such as music and dance, to promote anti-corruption in an interesting and creative way.

Opened to the public on the 7th December 1940, the National Museum is located along Shaban Robert Street at the junction of Sokoine Drive near the Botanical Gardens. It is one of the 5 museums in the country that form the National Museum of Tanzania. Known as the King George V Memorial on its first opening as a dedication to the head of state at the time, the museum began its expansion when Taganyika gained its independence between 1962 and 1964. With the expansion leading to five branches being made, the King George V Memorial transformed into the National Museum displaying a range of exhibits from historical and contemporary art to ethnographic collections on Tanzanian cultures.

One of the most famous exhibits in the museum is named ‘The Cradle of Human Kind’ which displays fossils found in the Olduvai Gorge, a 50km long canyon in northern
Tanzania and one of the most important paleoanthropological sites. One of the most famous artefacts in the museum is located in this exhibit. In 1959 British Archaeologist, Mary Leakey, discovered the of skull of the Paranthropus boisei, an (extinct) hominid. Some of the fossils in ‘The Cradle of Human Kind’ exhibition date back 2 million years and have formed the basis of our understanding of the human evolution!

Being able to travel to the city and other places around Dar-es-Salaam is the best way to explore the culture of Tanzania, and the National Museum taught us a lot about the countries history and its people. If you would like to learn more about the National Museum of Dar-es-Salaam or any of the other 5 museums that are part of the National Museum of Tanzania then head over to their Facebook page, give it a like and have a browse!

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