Located on Kira road about 2km from the city centre is Uganda’s display of its culture and heritage in the Uganda national museum. It East Africa’s oldest museum, and arguably the best. This museum is has a spectacle of ethnographic collection which was first exhibited as early as 1905 in a tiny temple of Greeks near Luggard’s fort that was established at Old Kampala. Having been established earlier in 1908, it was initially referred to by the Baganda locals “nyumba ya mayembe” (house of fetishes) who believed that its exhibits would bring supernatural powers on the administrations of colonialists.
In 1954, the Uganda National Museum was transferred to its current location on Kira road. So, those that are interested in pre colonial Africa history, there are great displays on the Nakayima tree, Ntusi and Chwezi’s bigo bya mugenyi, as well as aspects of the history of Uganda. More to this fantastic collection is traditional music instruments gathered from various regions of the continent and its great gallery of ethnography, which keeps an array 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 arrange in order of the major instruments like the drums, percussion, wind and string instruments
A reed 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 exbits 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.