My First Educational Tour
I have always wanted to visit the National War Museum Umuahia and National Museum of Unity Enugu but never had the opportunity to despite living close to it for so many years. The last time i visited Enugu i promised myself i was going to visit the museum but unfortunately the day i had the chance to the museum was only opened for just a half day due to the two days holiday, i was told to come back the next day between 8am to 11am as they will be closing the museum by 12noon unless i will wait till Monday when they will resume full day duty. I knew i wasn’t going to be in Enugu till Monday and i already had an engagement the next day but fortunately for me i came back to Enugu after two weeks for a event so i used the opportunity to tour the museum.
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The National museum of unity Enugu is made up of Three gallery, 1. The Nigeria Believe Systems (Unity Gallery). 2. The Igbo World View and 3. The Coal City Gallery. You can read About the Museum By Clicking Here:
I came to the museum around 2:30pm but was told that the last group has already gone far but i can either join them or wait for one or two persons to come as they don’t usually give a personal tour to avoid being short of tour guides but luckily for me one of them decided to give me personal tour.
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The first gallery we entered was the Nigeria believe system (Unity Gallery) and the first exhibition was about kingship and royalty among the major tribes in Nigeria. While my tour guide was taking me round and educating me on the believe system of different ethnic groups in Nigeria especially between the three major ones, I found out that most of the things she was educating me about were things i already knew because of my interest in history, culture and tradition but it doesn’t hurt re learn them and because i was the only one it was more like an interactive session, it felt more like a discussion then a teaching. After our tour of the first gallery, we proceeded to the second which is an extension of the first one which is Nigeria believe system but this section contains artifact and images that explains about fertility and divinity among different tribes in Nigeria. Some of the Artifacts exhibited in the Nigeria Believe system gallery Includes: Some of the Igbo Ukwu bronze Art, Head of Oba Ob Benin, Efeji From Yoruba Land, Yankari Pot from Kebbi, Oko Ritual canoe, Igbo Ikenga, Ebi aka mbaise, Yoruba Ewu ogun charm, Ogoni karikpo, Iyalode from Abeokuta, and many others.
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After our tour of Nigeria Believe system gallery, we processed to Igbo world View Gallery. This galley gives insight about the Igbos and their ways of life before the coming of the Europeans even though most of these way of life still exist in this modern era. The first thing at the Igbo world view Galary is the Igbo House display, depicting precolonial Igbo Architecture, giving insight about Igbo Architecture and thing mostly found in the house of An Igbo man. The Mbari House and arts found in the Mbari house, The Ikenga, Ijele, and some other Igbo Masquerades, Oke Egwu Ikenga, Igbo musical instrument, The Okike, The Agwu Figure, Ite Ola Okike, deities and divination in Igbo Land among others, after our tour of Igbo world view gallery which happens to be the highlight of my tour as there were lots of things about the Igbo culture that i got to find out for the first time, i was mostly fascinated about the Ite Ola Okike especially the idea behind it and what it represents.
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After our tour of Igbo World View Gallery we proceeded to the last one which was the Coal City Gallery, Although there wasn’t much about the coal city gallery other than the things that one can easily see or read online about how the City Of Enugu came into existence and how coal was discovered in the city, the early struggles and others which i was already families with and for someone who hasn’t seen coal before you have the opportunity of seeing it at the gallery and how it was mined.
Well, the tour was very enlightening and my tour guide was exceptional, supper amazing woman and very funny too. During our tour, one of the things that caught my attention the most during our tour was the Ite Ola Okike means ”Precious Pot Of Creation” or ”Precious creation pot” from Arochukwu, aside from the fact that the pot is an amazing work of art, what it also represents is exceptional. Generally in Most Igbo Community the umbilical cord of a child is usually buried in a land or at the foot of a young palm tree or any other economic tree which automatically becomes one of the child’s inheritance put that only applies to male kids, it is believed that by doing so, no matter where the child goes to, his or her spirit must always find its way home. “Nwa Igbo adighi efu na mba”. But unlike other Igbo Community, The Arochuku people do not bury the umbilical cord of their children rather they dry, burn it and put it in Ite Ola Okike with the believe that this fosters family bond and like other Igbo communities that no matter where the child goes tomorrow he or she will never forget home and if the person dies in a strange land his or her spirit must find its way home.
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Sadly i don’t have any picture or video of the tour to share even though i videoed the whole tour but am not going to use it on this post or anywhere at all because i promised i wasn’t going to even though i don’t think their reason for not wanting people to take picture of the artifacts in the museum is valid but am going to respect that.