Ijaw Historiography: The Role of the Museums in Cultural Education in Bayelsa State.

IMG-20180309-WA0002Museums have a long history going back to the 3rd century B.C., when the first known museum was opened in the University of Alexandria in Egypt. Over the years, however, the museum culture has spread to nearly every part of the world and today it has become uncommon to find any country that does not have a museum, no matter how small it may be. This implies that the concept of the museum has become a global concept that has survived till the 21th century. The traditional role of museums is to collect objects and materials of cultural, religious and historical importance, preserve them, research into them and present them to the public for the purpose of education and enjoyment.

IMG-20180309-WA0002The Bayelsa State Heritage Museums, a creation of the Bayelsa State Government in 2009, was established to create a sustainable awareness of rich and diverse cultural, historical and natural heritage through preservation, documentation and promotion in Ijaw cultural education. The Heritage Museum as an institution tells the story of the Ijaw man the world over and how humanity has survived in the Niger Delta Habitat over the years.

The Heritage Museums houses things created by nature and by man and in our modern society it houses the cultural soul of the Ijaw nation. (It holds the cultural wealth of the Ijaw People in trust for all generations and by its function and unique position, it has become the cultural conscience of the Ijaw nation).

Hence, in an increasingly globalised world where westernization has become the norm, the Bayelsa State Heritage Museums, located at Prof. E. J. House, FMC Road, Yenagoa is bridging the gap in Ijaw cultural decay and is calling on the general public to willfully support the institution with historical objects laying waste around your vicinity for exhibition, preservation and possible documentation in the Museums. These efforts will make the museums even more informative to children, students, tourist and the general public on the cultural values of the Ijaw People in an era of increased westernization.

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