General

Sierra Leones National Heritage

INTRODUCTION

The period of time museum is from Historic Greek, Mouseoin, which suggests “the place sacred to the muses.” In response to Greek Mythology Mouseoin was the tabernacle of muses, the 9 goddesses that presided over poesy, songs, the humanities, sciences and perusal. In Greek Mythology the 9 goddesses had been the daughters of Zeus, the King of the gods and Mnemosyne, the goddess of reminiscence. The Greeks believed that the muses lived on Mount Olympus with their chief, the god Apollo (American Affiliation of Museums, 2000). Within the third century B.C. through the rule of the Ptolemy Dynasty, when the Greeks dominated over Historic Egypt, Ptolemy 1 Soter based an establishment for literary and scientific examine in Alexandria and referred to as it a museum. With the revival of perusal through the Renaissance inside the ordinal century A.D. Italian students stored their collections of historic supplies in suite referred to as museums. The Renaissance nobles additionally had adorned their palaces with artwork, sculpture and collections of curiosities. It was a lot later that somebodyal collections bimanual to public possession and had been placed on show. For instance Pope Sixtus IV opened the Capitoline Museum to the general public in 1447 and this was adopted by Cesarini additionally in Rome. The primary museum to be operated as a nationwide establishment was the British Museum in 1753 adopted by the Palace of Louvre in Paris in 1793.Different well-legendary museums are the Artwork Gallery through which the Mona Lisa is depicted, the Metropolitan in New York, the Prado in Madrid, the Hermitage in Petersburg (Leningrad), and the Smithsonian in Washington (Sears, 2006).

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Sierra Leones National Heritage

ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIERRA LEONE NATIONAL MUSEUM

‘There’s all the time one matter new from Africa’ acknowledged Pliny who lived from 23-79 A.D. This huge continent of Africa has some many firsts. The north of Africa is believed to be the cradle of civilization that’s Historic Egypt. It was in Historic Egypt that the primary museum got here into existence. Additional south are nearly impassible obstacles of desert and tropical forests, and past these, lies the better a part of Africa legendary to the Arabs as Bilad-as-Sudan, the land of the Black individuals. It was on this a part of Africa inside the Rift Valley in East Africa also referred to as Jap Sudan that the oldest type of human life was found. The Western Sudan (West Africa) can boast of extremely effective historic empires like Ghana, Songhai, Mali and Kanem Bornu.

Sierra Leone too has a really rich and many heritage. She has an right smart pure life; her anthropology websites date once more to the Previous Stone Age in Africa. Oral customs date once more to the time when the ancestors of present inhabitants settled of their several areas. There’s a nice range of quite a couple of secret societies with their related cultural supplies such because the Poro, Bondo, Gbagbani, Kofo, Regbainlay and Mathoma Secret Societies. There are additionally the noncurrent conventional arts and crafts monuments and relics which commemorate individuals and occasions way back. This heritage has been constructed upon over time by the works of sculptors, architects, painters, musicians, blacksmiths, goldsmiths and different creators of kind and sweetness. As a good deal like 1957 Sierra Leone had no museum. The Monument and Relics Fee of 1st June 1947 supplied the idea for the safety and preservation of historic, historic and pure monuments, relics and different objects of anthropology, anthropology (conventional Artwork ) and historic or different scientific curiosity as laid down by the Act. These historic relics had been scattered everyplace in the nation accumulating mud and mold in government ware homes, whereas her anthropology treasures had been being destroyed by climate wood-boring bugs. In 1954, Sir Robert de Zouche Corridor, a former Governor Normal challenged the Sierra Leone Society to create a National Museum for the nation. This museum, in response to the Governor, can contribute to the expansion of nationwide delight by accumulating and protective objects and making them out there for contemplation and examine. This problem was haunted by M.C.F. Easmon and others with the formation of a Museum Sub-Committee (Cummings, 1996). The Previous Cotton Tree Railway Station was nontransmissible and rehabilitated, with the assistance of presidency, and was opened on the tenth December, 1957. The National Museum, in response to Sir Maurice Dorman, was supposed to gather, put so as and protect the work of man’s arms that was quick disappearing from the lives of Sierra Leoneans. The National Museum, he added, ‘inevitably to be a spot the place the illiterate man will be affected by the show of what’s superlative in his custom, each anterior to now and current, there-by protective a file of Sierra Leone for posterity.’

MUSEUM COVERAGE

The Sierra Leone National Museum covers three areas: Archaeology, Historical past and Ethnography. Within the space of Archaeology there are massive soapstone (soapstone) heads, the Maye Yafe or Chiefs’ devils. These are believed to deliver good luck to Chiefs and dangerous luck to the frequent man. There are figures referred to as Nomoli, that are an enigma and are of unlegendary antiquity. The conservator believes that these figures date once more to the Center Stone Age. There’s a massive assortment of poesy and potsherds and it’s believed that among the pots on show inside the museum date once more to B.C. days. There’s additionally an abundance of Previous Stone Age instruments evocative of choppers, hand axes, and polished New Stone Age instruments on with many soapstone bored stones which had been as soon as used as foreign money and as dig stick weights. Within the Historical past space essentially the most outstanding merchandise is the unique Constitution of Sierra Leone signed in 1799 by King George III by which the settlement turned a British Colony. There are additionally fashions of the de Reuter Stone on which the Admiral carved his identify after sacking Bunce and Tasso Islands in 1664. Bunce Island was a depot from the place slaves had been transported throughout the Atlantic Ocean. There are effigies of the late Sir Milton Margai, the primary Prime Minister of Sierra Leone and Bai Bureh, the final warrior chief who fought the British from 1898-1902. There’s additionally a number of supplies drawn from the colonial interval evocative of canon, staffs of chiefs, swords, medals, cash, images, work and paperwork. Within the space of Ethnography (Conventional Artwork) there are all dressed masquerading dancers e.g. Sowei of the Bondo Society, Goboi, the raiment of Chiefs, Secret Society paraphernalia, beautiful carved masks, carvings in human and animal kind, autochthonal musical devices just like the drums that are integral in African rituals in beginning, initiation and loss of life, textile, basketry and different crafts. The Sierra Leone National Museum has a powerful assortment of artifacts and is actually a retail merchant home of the nation’s cultural treasures (Sierra Leone National Museum Prospectus, 2013).

ROLE OF THE MUSEUM

The Sierra Leone National Museum conserves the nationwide heritage; it’s a complex establishment for analysis, training and custom. It’s an instrument of mass training, which caters for the wants of literates and illiterates, each jr. and noncurrent. Youngsters of faculty going age make up the most important public served by the National Museum by radio-controlled excursions. Other than faculty teams particular somebody youngsters attend the museum every single day. The museum reveals are correlate the college syllabi extra so in disciplines like Historical past, Social Research, Agricultural Science and Civics. Thus essay and poster competitions are run by the museum for kids. Since Artwork is essentially the most pure proficiency of expression of people that cannot learn and write the reveals inside the National Museum are so organized that they’ll communicate for themselves. The museum is a vital analysis middle. It’s analysis that brings the museum to life and makes it way more than a repository of unuseable objects. As analysis middle the National Museum is the one place inside the nation the place person can discover such historic paperwork just like the Sierra Leone Constitution. Thus college students from each increased and tertiary establishments additionally to researchers (domestically and internationally) make intensive use of museum materials in writing their tasks. Among the subjects extensively researched on inside the museum are the origins of St John’s Maroon Church, tourism as instrument of socioeconomic improvement, conventional colleges in Sierra Leone throughout pre-colonial, colonial and modern instances, burial rites of preponderant chiefs amongst all different ethnic teams inside the nation, and mining in pre-colonial Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone National Museum shouldn’t be alone established for elites and the intellectual neighborhood but additionally to supply a service for most of the people. The fundamental goal of the museum is to allow the general public to know and respect underneath situations of show the artifacts which the establishment collects, conserves and protects. Entrance to the museum is free as a result of it isn’t alone a nationwide museum but additionally a part of a global settlement (Worldwide Council of Museum) to which the Sierra Leone National Museum is a signatory ought to. Sierra Leoneans are conscious of the truth that the National Museum varieties an integral a part of the native custom. The specimens of the cultures described inside the museum are now in use and somebodys are aware of their existence and capabilities. The museum although nationwide additionally pursuits non-national public composed mainly of European, American and Asian nationals, most of those are unaware of African custom typically and Sierra Leonean custom particularly. Paradoxically the museum has touched each an knowledgeable and fairly for the most part illiterate additionally to educated and all inexperienced publics. The next are a number of remarks from the Museum’s Guests Ebook:

• It’s spectacular, stick to it! (A Nigerian).

• We entered into African mysteries (An Italian).

• Very attention-grabbing! Very painful particularly the slaves (An American).

• Most and the perfect expertise in Native Historical past).

• It goes a good distance in protective our cultural heritage (A Sierra Leonean).

The Sierra Leone National Museum is an exhibition and communication middle. It gives contact with actual objects. It disseminates details about Sierra Leonean Artwork. Artwork items are themselves paperwork that are eloquent. From eidetic figures held inside the museum individuals can study concerning the gown of the time. A sculptured piece reveals a little of greater than the individual depicted. As an illustration a carved warrior or hunter inside the museum exhibits the kind of weapon used on the time. The museum steers away from ethnic distribution inside the nation of its objects. It goals at representing fairly than mentioning native peculiarities. For instance Rhythmic Arts (musical devices), Occupations (fishing gear, basketry and pottery), cultural objects (insignia of Chiefs and Bridget cash), and Ladies’s Actions (ornaments, combs and cookery utensils)) are depicted inside the museum. The reason is that each city and rural guests are anxious to see their methods of life mirrored inside the “Ancestral House,” which is the museum. As native guests go around the museum they search attentively for utensils, instruments, weapons or acquainted with faces and are normally delighted or generally score to employees when these are absent. In short the Museum performs a vital half at nationwide and worldwide ranges. It helps the general public to understand articles illustrating historical past. As repository of the nationwide heritage it helps individuals to seek out the weather of their previous and to accumulate new religious wealth. The Museum renews in Sierra Leoneans a way of belonging to a very civilization and stimulates in them the spirit of nationwide delight and cohesion that are important elements in nation constructing.

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS

The Sierra Leone National Museum is a member of a number of delicate our bodies each at house and abroad. It has been a member of the Worldwide Council of Museums (ICOM) since 1964. The Museum can be a member of the Group for Museums, Monuments and Websites in Africa (OMMSA), the cultural arm of the then Group of African Unity (OAU), now African Union(AU ). The Museum is described inside the Arts Training Affiliation of Sierra Leone, which anterior to now organized Artwork Festivals in colleges and faculties; it is ordinarily described inside the Public Archives Fee and the Sierra Leone Affiliation of Librarians, Archivists and Info Professionals(SLAALIP).

The Sierra Leone National Museum continues to take pleasure in cordial relationship with UNESCO which has power-assisted in employees coaching and provide of kit; the West African Museums Program in Dakar(WAMP),which has carried out a number of workshops on conservation and preservation of artifacts. Overseas Missions too have contributed immensely to the event of the museum. For instance the Federal Republic of Germany in Sierra Leone erected an extension of the museum as a bicentenary present. The French Embassy in Sierra Leone by the French Cooperation Technical Division rehabilitated the Previous Cotton Tree Museum Constructing. The US of America, by the Division of america Info Companies has on a number of events invited the conservator to attend the USA which has resulted to shut hyperlinks with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Museum of African Artwork in Washington, Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Museum of Modern Artwork in Chicago. The U S Embassy was additionally instrumental inside the biparous relationship with the Museum of Coastal Historical past, St. Simons Island, Georgia. By way of these hyperlinks the Museum was furnished the outcomes of Indiana-American analysis tasks, pamphlets, calendars of coming occasions, posters and future exhibitions. The biparous with the Museum of Coastal Historical past, St Simons Island, Georgia, USA has led to the investigation of the “Trans-Atlantic Linkage-the Sierra Leone and the Gullah/Geechee Connection.” There was a collection of change visits between conservators and the Nice Spring Lecture was delivered at Fort Frederica, St Simon Island in 1995. In the identical yr a joint exhibition and a symposium was held on the “Trans-Atlantic Linkage” in Georgia.

CHALLENGES

One of many main issues of the Sierra Leone National Museum is methods to fight the thieving and illicit exportation of cultural artifacts. The Authorities of Sierra Leone has developed a complete nationwide coverage with statutes as contained inside the Monuments and Relics Ordinance of 1947. The Ordinance gives for the preservation of historic, historic and pure monuments, relics and different objects of historic, anthropology and scientific curiosity. Any one that wishes to export from the nation any anthropology merchandise should submit it to the National Museum; a license will likely be issued which inevitably to be established to impost officers on the level of departure. If an supposed merchandise for exportation has cultural, historic or anthropology worth will probably be maintained inside the nation as a part of the nationwide heritage. Anybody discovered violating any of the laws is liable to felony prosecution underneath the availableness of the Ordinance. If discovered responsible the individual involved should pay a positive of 200 kilos sterling. In default of cost, the individual will serve a jail sentence not olympian six months. Nevertheless, regardless of the efforts made by the Museum to guard cultural property smuggling of artifacts continues. It’s heavy to notice that in Sierra Leone educated and clever individuals buy, promote and export protected cultural supplies only for the sake of enterprise promotion. What’s extra Sierra Leone has porous borders which individuals use to benefit in smuggling cultural supplies in a foreign country with impunity.

Additional the general community service that the National Museum performs warrants public expenditure, particularly if requirements are to be maintained. Sadly government grants to the museum are exiguous and this poses one other problem for the operative of the museum. Usually salaries paid to employees ordinarily are not alone discouraging ordinarily notwithstandin delayed in cost. In 2014 e.g. a lot wage backlog was owed employees that employees smitten and the museum ceased to function for some time. Apart from the National Museum doesn’t have branches inside the provinces notwithstandin alone centered inside the capital metropolis, Freetown. Workers are restricted in measure and ill-motivated. Hardly are they engaged in capability constructing on account of lack of cash in hand. This has led to large employees turn-over. Extra over working inside the museum shouldn’t be nicely regarded nation-wide. Most individuals view it as a job for college drop outs. Thus jr. individuals don’t like following museology as a profession. Additionally employees don’t commence large public training on the significance of the museum in society. Little surprise why faculty going youngsters kind the most important variety of guests to the museum versus government functionaries and key stake holders inside the nation. Even the road ministry, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the Museum is underneath doesn’t appear to grasp its significance in nation constructing. The Ministry anteriorities its actions and supporting the museum shouldn’t be a precedence. Thus in time of business enterprise stringency the museum is a susceptible space to swindle cash in hand (Sierra Leone National Museum Prospectus, 2013). If due to this fact government desires the National Museum to proceed taking part in an ever growing function in nationwide improvement there may be each want for presidency functionaries to provide afterthought on how superlative they’ll help it to fulfill this purpose. The place the challenges confronted by administration are self-addressed the museum too may help generate the a lot wanted international change on with its preservation of the nationwide heritage.

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