Uganda Museum

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Uganda Museum
The Uganda Museum Main Entrance
Established 1908
Location Northern part of Kampala Kitante hill plot 5 Kira road 5 km away from the city centre, Uganda.
Coordinates 0°20′08″N 32°34′57″E / 0.335556°N 32.5825°E / 0.335556; 32.5825
Type Historical
Director Rose Nkaale Mwanja
Public transit access

The Uganda Museum can be accessed by public taxi, going to Kamwokya Ntinda , motorcycle motorist (Boda boda) or by private means.

The Uganda Museum is a museum in Kampala, Uganda, which displays and exhibits ethnological, natural-historical and traditional life collections of Uganda's cultural heritage. The museum was founded in 1908 after George Wilson called for "all articles of interest"[1] on Uganda to be procured.[2] Also among the collections in the Uganda Museum are playable musical instruments, hunting equipment, weaponry, archaeology and entomology.[1][3] The Uganda museum is currently under the threat of demolition as the Uganda Government is planning to build in its place an "East African Trade Centre".[4] Four civil society organisations vis - the Historic Resources Conservation Initiatives (HRCI), Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), Historical Buildings Conservation Trust (HBCT) and Jenga Afrika have taken the government of the Republic of Uganda to court to stop the government's plans.[5]


Uganda Museum is the oldest Museums in East Africa, it was officially established by the British protectorate government in 1908 with ethnographic material. The history of the Museum goes back to 1902 when the governor George Wilkerson called for collection of objects of interest throughout the country to set up a museum. The museum started in a small Sikh temple at Lugards Fort in Old Kampala Hill. Between 1920 and 1940s, archaeology and paleontological surveys and excavations were conducted by Church Hill, E.J. Wayland, Bishop J. Wilson, P.L.Shinnie, E.Lanning and several others who collected a significant number of artifacts to boost the museum. The museum at fort Lugard later become too small to hold the specimen and the museum was moved to Margret Trowel School of fine Art in Makerere University College in 1941. Later funds were raised for a permanent home and the museum was moved to its current home Kitante Hill in 1954. In 2008 The Uganda Museum turned 100 years.[6]


The museum has a number galleries, that is ethnographic gallery, natural history gallery, traditional music gallery, science and industry gallery and the early history gallery.

Music gallery[edit]

The music gallery displays a comprehensive collection of musical instruments from all parts of Uganda.The instruments are arranged according to the major groups of music instruments namely: drums, percussion, wind and string instruments.

Education service[edit]

Apart from the permanent exhibits in the galleries, the Uganda museum offers educational service in form of Demonstration lessons, Outreach programs, Workshops and complimentary services. Using the available specimens, the museum arranges a variety of topical lessons related to the school curriculum. conducted tours, organized large number of schools are showed around the museum as well as giving introductory lectures with slides, films with other aids. The museum staff from the Education section goes out into the more remote areas of the country to teach in the villages whose schools are not able to have a chance to reach the museums. some objects are loaned out to schools to be used as visual aid. The museum hosts lectures, public talks and workshops on relevant topics to the public in the auditorium. The museum is well equipped with facilities such as canteen and internet cafe which offers a variety of traditional foods of Uganda taste and gift shops that show case Uganda's craft.[7]

Cultural Village[edit]

At the back of the Uganda Museum building are traditional huts depicting traditional lifestyles of the early indigenous people in Uganda. For visitors who want to experience the traditional ways of the Ugandan people, an array of cultural material such as milk pots made from wood (ebyanzi), gourd vessels, basketry, beadwork, horn work, ceramics, cutlery, leatherworks, armoury, and musical instruments are displayed. These houses include the Bamba House on your left as you enter the Cultural Village followed by Tooro House, Bunyoro House, Hima House, Ankole House and Kigezi House all representing the western region. Some of the things to experience in the Tooro House, which belongs to the Batooro, are the beddings - especially the makeshift wooden bed, the backcloth blanket, and the royal drums. In the Ankole House that belongs to Banyankole there are cooking utensils like pots, bowls made of clay and a mingling stone showing how the Banyankole used to prepare millet bread (Kalo) before the invention of the milling machines. In the Hima House that belongs to the Bahima there are milk gourds used for keeping milk and long horns representing the type of cattle that used to dominate the Hima kraals. The Hima House there is also a lotion made from milk used to smear a would-be bride. From eastern Uganda there is Busoga House, Jopadhola House, Bugisu House, Teso House and the Karimojong House. The Bugisu House is dotted with circumcision 'weapons', including knives headgear among other regalia. In the Teso House there are several calabashes used for brewing and drinking Malwa, a popular local brew in eastern Uganda. There is also mingling stones and pots for preparing kalo which is one of their main foods. Other houses include Acholi House, Lango House, the Alur House and Madi House all from northern Uganda. Some of these houses contain arrows and bows which were mainly used as protection tools and for hunting among others. Then there is the Buganda House that represents people from the central region. Inside the house there is backcloth, drums, baskets for Luwombo, hunting nets, wooden sandals (emikalabanda), and the Mweso game popular among the Baganda.[8]

Children's Resource Center[edit]

The Children’s Resource Centre is an effort to reach out to children and young people in the community. The centre runs interactive activities unique to children’s interests in a child friendly environment offering them an opportunity to value and appreciate their cultural heritage. We envision children getting actively involved in museums and conservation of cultural heritage.


The Museum building is a historical landmark designed by a German Architect called Ernst May.[9][10] The building was functionally designed with ample natural lighting and air to ensure proper preservation of objects.


  1. ^ a b Jackson, Chris. "The Uganda Museum – Reviewed by Chris Jackson". The Eye Magazine. The Eye Uganda. Archived from the original on 19 Apr 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Geoffrey D.; Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. "History of museums". Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 7. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Uganda Museum". Uganda Tourism Board. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ Wesaka, Anthony (10 March 2011). "Battle to demolish museum goes to court". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Participatory Architecture: Web 2.0 Education in the Uganda National Museum", (2014). Retrieved 3 October 2014
  7. ^ "Museum Education Services " Retrieved 3 October 2014
  8. ^ "Cultural Village turns fortunes for Uganda Museum",5 December 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  9. ^ "The Ernst May Exhibition at the Uganda Museum",30 April 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Kampala through the eyes of 1945 German architect",24 April 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2014.

Coordinates: 0°20′8″N 32°34′57″E / 0.33556°N 32.58250°E / 0.33556; 32.58250

External links[edit]