Sudan Ethnographic Museum, The History And Presence

Sudan Ethnographic Museum, The History And Presence

By: Resala Abdelrahim

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) The Sudan Ethnographic Museum displays artifacts representing the various cultures and traditions of Sudan's numerous ethnic groups.

Though not very big, the Museum has been described by many foreign visitors as fascinating.

Sudanow reporter Resala Abdelrahim visited the Museum in Khartoum on the corner of Al Gamaa and Mak Nemir streets and met with the Museum display designer Diana Digna and Mr. Elmontaser Dafaalla, a senior conservator of the conservation Department of Sudan Ethnographic Museum.  

Here is the outcome of her visit:

Mr. Elmontaer mentioned that the museum was established in (1956) by the British colonists, who were interested in the Sudanese cultural heritage, because it’s diverse and rich in customs and traditions.

The British inspectors and officers were starting to collect the valuable ethnographic objects during their visiting to the different regions of Sudan. These collections represented the first nucleus of the museum’s holdings. The museum is thus considered to be a historical resource of the material culture for those regions. 

Basically, these ethnographic collections were brought to Gordon College in the beginning of the twentieth century. Later, in the middle of the 1950s, the collection were transferred to the current building, which was the British officers club before the independence of Sudan.

Ms. Diana Digna talked about the museum’s sections and how they were changed in response to the change that was associated with the Sudanese revolution in December 2019.

"In the beginning the museum displaying area was divided according to the geographical regions of the Country, however, with the new reopening the sections have been shaped according to the cultural concept.

There are six sections in the museum:

The Traditional Musical instruments, Sudanese kitchen, handcraft, traditional education (al-khalwa, Quran and Arabic studies), indigo life - sailing boats and finally the Sudanese customs and traditions (wedding and women's accessories). Eventually, every section gives a brief description for our cultural life.

During the visit we met with some school teachers and pupils, who came to visit the museum and learn more about their culture.

"We are very interested in the traditional musical instruments and boats", said one of the pupils.

We asked the teachers about their impressions and recommendations. They said they were really enjoying their visit because it was very useful and interesting for the pupils.



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