The Village Museum
Kijiji cha Makumbusho. No one interested in the local culture should miss out on this museum. Open-air display of traditional habitats and crafts.
The Village Museum was established in 1996. This museum was established for the purpose of demonstrating and preservation of traditional cultures of Tanzania. Visiting the village museum is like visiting the whole of Tanzania ethnic groups. The museum displays traditional huts of about 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups.
The idea of a ‘village museum’ seems a curious paradox is it a village, or is it a museum? Perhaps it is neither in the conventional sense. It is certainly not a living village, but rather a collection of authentic furnished homesteads representing some of Tanzania’s many different rural cultures. Nor is it a museum in the traditional sense (there is not a glass case to be seen). All 16 houses can be entered, and there are plenty of objects to see and handle. The Kiswahili word ‘makumbusho’, ‘reminders’, is more apt here than the English ‘museum, with its classical muse associations. Herein lies not only the unique charm of the place, but also the real importance of the site.
If you’re not going to make it into rural Tanzania, the Village Museum provides a good survey of the sort of architecture that is found there. This open-air museum features a collection of 19 authentically reconstructed dwellings that show traditional ways of living for different ethnic groups throughout Tanzania. These ways of life still endure in many areas of the country. Situated 10km (6 miles) north of the city centre, the museum also lays on traditional dance and music performances during the afternoons, and is partly aimed at teaching urban Tanzanian children and teens about the cultural heritage of their rural cousins.
The village museum is along Ally Hassan Mwinyi road just outside Dar es Salam town on the way to Mwenge and Bagamoyo.
Opening Times: 0930-1830.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Address: New Bagamayo Road at Makaburi Street, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Telephone: (022) 270 0437.