Zanzibar House of Wonders Museum

Overview

* Provides an interesting case study in culture and development, an example of best practice in the field, with lessons to be learned for the future
* Explores the relevance of a museum to the population it serves and to economic development
* Offers a glimpse into Zanzibar?s extraordinary history and culture

Zanzibar is a small island off the east African coast with a grand history. Its national museum is located in one of the world?s most beautiful buildings, The House of ...

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Overview

* Provides an interesting case study in culture and development, an example of best practice in the field, with lessons to be learned for the future
* Explores the relevance of a museum to the population it serves and to economic development
* Offers a glimpse into Zanzibar’s extraordinary history and culture

Zanzibar is a small island off the east African coast with a grand history. Its national museum is located in one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, The House of Wonders.

Between 2000 and 2005 a nineteenth-century sultan’s palace was converted into a museum to display the history and culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili coast. Does such a venture need foreign assistance? And if it does, how to circumvent the pitfalls of dependency? This book describes how Zanzibar managed to marry self-reliance and partnership in the development of its new museum.

Since the UNESCO report Our Creative Diversity in 1995, attention to culture and development has risen. One of the needs felt in later years was more documentation of examples of best practice in this field. The development of the Zanzibar House of Wonders Museum can serve as such an example. It has been exemplary in many ways: in its contribution to the safeguarding of Zanzibar’s heritage and in its wider scope; its approach to self-reliance and autonomy; and in the sustainability of its results. Part of this development has been a training program, which has a unique character and has contributed greatly to the overall results.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789068324334
  • Publisher: KIT (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen)
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Abdul Sheriff is a former professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam, and has played a crucial role in preserving Zanzibar’s cultural heritage. Sheriff has directed the restoration of a sultan’s ceremonial palace, which involved using local expertise and materials, organising the training of local staff and setting up large-scale collections. He was awarded the Prince Claus Award in 2005 for his work in setting up the museum.

Paul Voogt is Head of the Public Programs Department of the KIT Tropenmuseum.

Mubiana Luhila is Head of the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction; Zanzibar, Swahili Culture and the Dialogue of Civilisations; I The African heritage; II The Indian Ocean heritage; III The Swahili amalgam; IV The centrality of Zanzibar; 3 Zanzibar’s Heritage and Museums: I The natural heritage; II Zanzibar’s antiquities; III The Zanzibar Stone Town; IV The Zanzibar Museum during the Colonial Period; 4 Plans for a New National Museum Programme: I The Archie Walls plan; II The Palace Museum; 5 The House of Wonders Museum of the History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast: I Early proposals; II Enforced self-reliance–a liberating experience; III The pitfalls of dependency; IV Safeguarding Zanzibar’s heritage; 6 Zanzibar Stone Town Exhibition: A Case of Self-reliance and Partnership: I The Zanzibar Stone Town–the story; II Self-reliance and partnership; 7 The Approach: I Culture-based approach; II A ‘national’ museum?; III The politics of representation; 8 Training on the Job by PMDA and KIT: Results: I Training approach and justification; II Programme and the results; 9 Partnership: I The partners; II History of the partnership; III The partnership explained; 10 The Relevance of The House of Wonders Museum: I The relevance of the museum’s exhibitions to the people of Zanzibar; II The relevance of the museum to (economic) development; 11 The Sustainability of the Project; 12 Lessons to be Learned.
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