Join me and let’s take a tour of the best museums in Nigeria. In this post, we will list out the best museums in Nigeria and their locations in case you are a tourist and you wish to visit any of the museums I recommend you read on…
What Is A Museum?
A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.
The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the public.
The goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public.
Types Of Museums:
There are many types of museums, each of them serving different interests yet fulfilling one purpose which is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public.
Types of museums include (1)art museums, (2)natural history museums, (3)science museums, (4)war museums, and (5)children’s museums.
Museums In Nigeria:
Nigeria has many museums and galleries, which are spread throughout the country which showcases the rich culture and history of Nigeria.
Here are the lists of the best museums in Nigeria…
The Esie Museum located at Ilorin kwara State was founded as far back as 1945, making it Nigeria’s oldest museum today.
The esie museum was founded to house tombstone figures, of which over a thousand were discovered, is perhaps best known now for its vast collection of soapstone images.
Esiẹ Museum is composed of both old and modern galleries with a combined number of around 2,000 artefacts. The modern gallery was built to accommodate other artefacts besides soapstone figures from different regions in Nigeria.
This popular cultural attraction has also become something of a religious centre and plays host to a prominent annual festival each April.
Benin City Museum:
This museum is home to numerous of Nigeria’s terracotta, bronze, and cast iron artefacts. In the 1940s, what was then the museum was privately located in the Oba’s Palace. It was relocated in the 1970s and became a public centre. The museum holds three galleries.
The Benin people were famous for their iron and bronze casting skills. Unfortunately, some relics from this time in the city’s history can only be viewed in pictures, as a result of a British offensive in 1897.
Umuahia War Museum:
The Civil War in Nigeria that lasted from 1966 to 1967 remains one of the most unpleasant events in the country’s history.
In 1985, the National War Museum was founded in honour of the casualties and those who fought, as well as other victims of violent conflicts in Nigeria.
It displays relics from the war including armoured tanks, warships, local bombs, and more, as well as serves as the centre for research on warfare in the country.
It is Abia State’s most significant tourist attraction. Furthermore, it is located at the former bunker that housed the popular war radio station “Voice of Biafra.
Gidan Makama Museum:
The Gidan Makama Museum is housed in the Emir’s former home in Kano, which was built in the 15th century for Rumfa, his grandson. The building itself is of great architectural and historic interest in its own right.
Located next to the Emir’s Palace and close to the Central Mosque on the Kofar Mata Road, this attraction comprises local art exhibits, displays about old Kano and a collection of Hausa costumes, weapons and tools, as well as many historic photographs documenting the endless history of this city.
The Oron Museum:
When the Oron Museum was first set up in the late 1950s, it was home to an impressive and sizeable collection of ancestral figures belonging to the people of Oron, Akwa-Ibom State Nigeria.
Sadly, many of these were destroyed during the civil war. In 1975, however, the museum was renovated and restocked with the surviving figures, as well as other artefacts found elsewhere in Nigeria. Of note, this attraction also boasts a small craft village where you will find a choice of quality souvenirs.
The National Museum In Lagos:
The National Museum at Lagos has long been seen as Nigeria’s finest heritage repository. This leading West African cultural attraction was originally set up in the 1950s by Kenneth C. Murray and is home to numerous examples of rare Nigerian artwork and ancient sculptures, including statues and carvings.
Some exhibits date back to the prehistoric era, whilst many originate from the time when the Benin kings ruled over the country.
Of particular note are the Nok Terracotta and carved ivory gallery. Centrally located in Lagos, the museum is the perfect place to head upon your arrival in the city. Craftwork demonstrations and a small craft village also form part of the overall attractions.
National Museums In Kaduna:
Established in the mid-1970s, Kaduna’s National Museum has on display lots of archaeological and ethnographic artefacts that include terracotta figurines dating back some 2,500 years, as well as masks and Benin bronzes.
A traditional Hausa village within the complex also provides visitors with an opportunity to watch local craftsmen and women at work, being creative.
National Museum In Abakaliki:
The National Museum of Unity is located at 6 St. Patrick Road, Kprikpri Abakaliki Ebonyi State Nigeria Abakaliki.
The unique museum, dedicated to the 1970s slogan – ‘No Victor, No Vanquished.’ – was built to heal the wounds of a country emerging from civil war.
It houses a vast amount of artefacts and relics from various communities of Nigeria. However, the unique way the museum showcases the Igbo world-view drives most of its appeal. Large sections of the museum exhibit the socio-political, religious, and agricultural life of the igbo people.
Discover amazing facts about the Igbo People…
The National Museum will delight anyone that appreciates ethnography with an eye for cultural awareness.
You can add your own lists of other best museums in Nigeria you know via the comment box.