Gidan Makama Museum Kano
In the bustling city of Kano, Nigeria, lies the Gidan Makama Museum, a bastion of cultural heritage and history. Once the temporary palace of Kano before the construction of the current palace, Gidan Rumfa, in the 15th century, this remarkable building has since been transformed into a museum of considerable prestige.
The museum houses an impressive collection of arts, crafts, and historical artifacts that paint a vivid picture of Kano's past. The structure itself, recognized as a National Monument by the Nigerian government, is a 15th-century marvel that echoes the architectural sophistication of the era.
The museum is thoughtfully partitioned into 11 distinct galleries, each offering a glimpse into a unique aspect of Kano's history and culture. From the Zaure or the main entrance hall, adorned with traditional materials and maps of Kano, to galleries that narrate the tales of statehood, the 19th century, the Civil War, economy, industry, and music, every room is a portal to a different time.
Moreover, the museum's open space doubles as a performance stage for the Koroso dance and drama group, adding a lively dynamic to the historical ambiance. The museum's rich past is not just confined to its exhibits. After the British capture of Kano in 1903, it briefly served as an office for colonial officers. It was later divided into three sections, with one part becoming a museum, another a primary school, and the third maintaining its original purpose as a residential building.
Now managed by the National Commission of Museums and Monuments, the Gidan Makama Museum is a testament to traditional Hausa architecture. While some modern renovations have been made, the original mud walls that typify the period have been preserved.
Positioned on the Emir Palace road, the museum exhibits a variety of traditional Kanawa artifacts, pictures, musical instruments, handicrafts, and materials across its 11 galleries. These rooms and courtyards, once inhabited by the old Makamas, showcase the lifestyle of a traditional Kano aristocrat. Even the entrance gates of the museum are historical artifacts in themselves, displaying excavated pots from Kofar Kabuga and two colonial cannons.
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