Saturday, June 30, 2018

Lamu Museum-A lesson in Lamu's history.

The beautiful entry to the museum.

Museums are one of my happy places because there is so much about a place and it's people that you will learn by visiting one.

The Lamu museum provides a lesson in the history of the island,its people and the culture.The Museum is organised into categories and the different rooms tell different aspects about Lamu. I loved the fact that it tells all the important things about the town and even shares other historical sites and monuments one should visit to learn more about the Island's history.

This museum is so full of history that if you visited Lamu and the only two things you did was see the sea and visit the museum your visit will be 75% complete.The other 25% will have to be, you eating all things that are edible in the Island 😅😅.

These are the things at the museum that stood out the most for me;

Lamu and it's trade routes.

High school history anyone?
This map at the entry of the museum that sums up all the trade routes that were used in the old days and the items that were traded then.It seems that the Chinese were as tricky then as they are now because they brought China plates to Lamu and exchanged them for things that were far more valuable.

The doors of Lamu.

All the door types in one place just in case you wanted to be an expert on door types
Lamu amongst many other things is famous for its doors.The Museum has information on all the types of doors in the Island,their origin and what differentiates them from each other complete with pictures.

Visit the museum as soon as you are in Lamu,so that when you walk along the streets you know which doors are from where and what their style is.

The Kofias.

The caps are made from scratch by people from Lamu.All the details on them are made using a needle and thread.It takes about a month to make one of them.
Do you know/remember the kofias  Miguna Miguna always has on? They are made in Lamu and aren't exactly cheap.One goes for between 20,000 and 30,000 KES depending on the patterns and size.So maybe a lifestyle audit on M.M so that he can tell us how he can afford to have many of these 😅😅.

They are hand made, the skill of making them has been passed down through the generations and it takes quite a bit of time to make one.It would be great if they could find a way to make them faster hence mass production so that they could be affordable to more people.

The communities that live in Lamu.

The Pokomo's  of Lamu.
The Boni people have held on tight to their traditions and upto date are mostly hunters and gatherers!

There is a whole section of the museum dedicated to the different communities that live in Lamu.Their traditional houses,dress,jewellery,ceremonies and what they originally did for income.I only recently learnt of the Boni people and was so happy that they have a whole wall on them and their history.

Swahili architecture and home decor.

A swahili bed.

The Swahili's of the past clearly knew a lot about home decor.
Beautiful Swahili wall finishes that are still done even today in most of the houses on the Island.
Lamu town has the feel of an ancient town and is the best preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa hence it being a UNESCO world heritage site.It's people have done so well in maintaining their architecture such that the museum looks like a lot of the homes in the Island.The bathrooms in most of the homes are the same as what is displayed in the museum and I am yet to see a modern staircase in Lamu's old town.

The Museum is located in Lamu old town and it costs only 100 KES as an entrance fee. A visit to Lamu isn't complete without time spent at the museum just make sure you allocate a good amount of time to this visit.

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