HARARE – Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, formerly called the Queen Victoria Museum, provides a detailed insight into the country’s rich cultural heritage and history.
Situated in the Zimbabwean capital city Harare, the museum showcases the country’s history in one place and is home to some very unique objects acquired over several generations.
The museum, that is divided into human and natural sciences categories, houses scientific, artistic, cultural and historical objects collected from different places around the country.
The human sciences section is rich with Zimbabwean people’s history while the natural sciences section chronicles the history and life of animals, birds, insects and plants.
Just like Marcus Garvey said, “A people without knowledge of its past is like a tree without roots” — the Museum of Human Sciences is a true reflection of the country’s historical background, housing a rich treasure.
National Museums and Monuments regional director Joseph Svinurayi Muringaniza told the Daily News that the Museum of Human Sciences was an important treasure trove of Zimbabwean history.
“We are an important cultural resource centre,” Muringaniza said.
He added that some history documented mainly by Portuguese traders gave an insight into aspects pertaining to governance issues of the time.
After Zimbabwe attained independence, Muringaniza said the museum began to exhibit the country’s true history, traced from the Stone Age, Iron Age, to modern day Zimbabwe.
The museum is currently in the process of introducing an Olympics section to reflect the key role played by sport in shaping the country’s culture.
“We thought we could expand our disciplines to include sport,” said Muringaniza.
There are also plans to set up museums at Chimoio in Mozambique, Freedom Camp in Zambia and in Hwange.
“The Hwange museum will document the history of the Nambia people,” he said.
According to Muringaniza, the proposed Hwange museum is part of plans to cater for all the country’s ethnic groups.
With a rich collection of historical, archaeological and zoological information, it is not surprising that it has become a key source of information for students while also providing entertainment for tourists from all over the world.
Inside the museum, Homo sapiens, Australopithecus Africanus, and Homo Habilis are exhibited, showing Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, while the other section showcases a biblical version of human development.
Tools used in the stone-age are also exhibited, while a clear transition to the iron-age is also shown, with rock paintings completing the amazing display of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage.
Traditional musical instruments such as African horn (bhosvo or vuvuzela); flutes (tsuri) are part of the objects housed in the museum.
A typical 19th century Shona homestead as it existed in Mrewa is also showcased in the museum.
The homestead houses unique wooden utensils such as plates and spoons.
There are also wooden headrests, mates made of animal skins, grinding stone and calabashes.
Also showcased are endangered animal species such as dinosaurs, rhinos, pangolins, elephants and giraffes.