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Museums in Kenya
museums_crying stone_kakamega Kenya is a country with a rich history. We have come a long way and this is evident through the many historical monuments that are spread through out the country. Here, you will learn more about Kenya and what had been happening. "To know thy roots is truely to know thyself. "
Gede Museum

The most famous and most talked about Swahili town site is Gede, located approximately 16 kilometers south of the coastal resort town of Malindi. Founded in the 12th century AD, Gede was a large and prosperous town which flourished until its abandonment in the 17th century. Nestled in 45 acres of primeval forest, the ruins of Gede reflect the unique architectural style and wealth of many Swahili towns of that period.

Excavations of the site in the late 1940s and early 1950s unearthed remains of numerous domestic, religious and commercial structures, including a large 'Palace' with sunken courts, a Friday [Congregational] Mosque, elaborately decorated pillar tombs, wells, and a town wall. Finds from the site include imported Chinese and Islamic porcelains, glass and shell beads, gold and silver jewellery and coins. Local pottery finds make up the majority of finds, and include vessels used for cooking and storage.

The surrounding indigenous forest is home to numerous species of flora and fauna, which can be enjoyed on a leisurely walk through this ancient town. Guided tours are available, and provide a unique insight to the history of the area. Also at Gede is a tree nursery whose work is aimed at promoting indigenous coastal trees and shrubs; there is also an NMK/community based butterfly farm, Kipepeo, which aims at conserving the forest by diversifying and improving the local economic base.

Hyrax Hill Museum

This new museum, opened in 1993, reflects Kenya's political development and the attainment of independence by Kenya in 1963. The museum itself is the site where several of the founding fathers of the Kenyan nation were detained during the struggle for independence; they included such figures as Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kungu Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei and Hon. Ramogi Achieng Oneko. Its exhibits, which include newspaper articles on the Mau Mau movement, photographs and artefacts from the period – give an insight to the sufferings of the many who died during Kenya's struggle for independence.
There is also an Uhuru Memorial Library and the Heroes' Cells where the late president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and others were jailed. Cultural materials of some peoples of Western Kenya are also preserved and conserved. Through displays, Kapenguria Museum has been educating local students on the cultural and material conservation of the Pokot. Traditional homesteads of both Cherengani and Pokot people help show the culture of these people.

Kabarnet Museum

In 1926, while excavating a nearby site, famed palaeontologist Louis Leakey noted evidence of prehistoric habitation of Hyrax Hill. Eleven years later, his wife and fellow palaeontologist, Mary Leakey, noted several more habitation sites, including a stone walled fort and a group of pits. Mary Leakey began excavating the site in mid 1937 and her work produced evidence of an Iron Age stone walled enclosure and a Neolithic burial mound occupation level.

The results of these numerous excavations yielded three major areas of prehistoric settlement: the oldest dating to 3,000 years and the youngest to possibly two to three hundred years. There was little doubt that the early field work at Hyrax Hill provided a new understanding to an important part of Kenya's prehistory. Because of its significance, the site was proposed as a national monument and confirmed as one in 1943.

In 1965 the site was established as a site museum, with a small gallery established at the base of the hill in a house donated by Mrs A. Selfe. It is now one of the regional museums of the NMK, with displays of ethnographic material of the different Rift Valley peoples; Neolithic cultures in the area are represented by excavated materials from the Hyrax Hill sites, and include various types of obsidian tools and a stone platter recovered from a burial site.

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