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Traditional pipes

The National museum of Rwanda is located in the town of Butare approximately 135 km from the capital city of Kigali. (Butare is considered to be the intellectual centre of the country with its National Museum, arboretum, and several academic (university) and research institutions.) It is considered to be one of the best museum in East Africa. The structure of the museum was meant as an expression symbolizing the quality of life in Rwanda. Both the internal and external parts of the building have elements that were designed to reflect the Rwandan culture. The artefact collections are essentially historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological. Collections contain items inherited from the ancient museum of Rwandaand other artefacts which have been collected since 1990. dsc04230These collections are divided in two categories: the first has artefacts used in exhibits located in 7 exhibition rooms. The first room has a counter and a shop where various handicraft items, photos, brochures, etc…are sold. The second room is for maps, photos and graphics which provide more information about the relief of the country, its ever growing demography, the linguistic inter-relationship between Rwandans and other tribes in the region. Rooms III and IV display items and tools used in various economic activities such as agriculture, cattle-breeding, bee-keeping, hunting, fishing, the making of the fire and transport. These objects are in wood, basketwork and ceramics. Room V presents the various aspects of the Rwandan architecture, the way of living and the social organisation. An entirely reconstituted traditional hut can be found in the centre of the room. Its upper part belonged to a former sous-chef in 1957. Room VI is essentially dedicated to traditional clothing and its description. The material, the techniques used to make them, samples of skins, barks of trees, wood fibres, clothes and a large variety of decorations in metal or plants …are displayed. Room VII reconstitutes some features of the Rwandan history. It presents the guidelines of the prehistory and shows the chronological succession of kings (Bami) based on oral tradition and written documents since the arrival of Europeans. It also provides some explanations about some traditional religious practices and marriage. Most of the sample copies are made in basketwork. The second category is kept in two store-rooms. Basketwork constitutes the most familiar artistic expression to foreigners. It expresses the fineness and aesthetic value of the whole assembly, that of elements combination and decorative motifs in particular. Basketwork is of an indeniable aesthetic beauty. It is often used in interior decoration and domestic work: in the kitchen, luggage and people transportation, fishing, building, wall partitions and enclosures.

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Traditional protection against the rain

Butare est une ville ramassée, paisible parsemée d’avenues, d’une route principale et de petits hôtels restaurants. Elle se situe à 135 kms au sud de Kigali. L’une des principales autres attractions est l’arboretum de Ruhande avec ses grandes variétés d’espèces d’arbres indigènes et importés. A Butare se trouve également la plus grande cathédrale du Rwanda. Mais la principale attraction de Butare demeure le Musée national, qui abrite sans doute l’une des plus belles collections ethnologiques d’Afrique de l’Est. De fascinantes expositions d’ornements traditionnels sont magnifiquement illustrées par un choix de photographies du début du siècle. Elles offrent un point de vue sur les modes de vie précoloniaux et sur la transformation du Rwanda en un Etat africain moderne. 

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Essetial for storing then drinking beer