Museu De História Natural de Maputo
Museu De História Natural de Maputo: A Chronicle of Natural Wonders
Enshrined in the heart of Maputo, in a magnificent Manueline style edifice, the Museu De História Natural de Maputo is a captivating repository of Mozambique's rich natural history and cultural heritage. Since its founding in 1911, this African Art Museum has been an esteemed educational cornerstone and a popular attraction for both nationals and international visitors.
Beginning its illustrious journey as the Museum of the Province of Mozambique in 1913, it was later named the Dr. Álvaro de Castro Museum before finally assuming its current moniker, the Natural History Museum, in 1975. Today, it proudly resides in the iconic Manueline building in the Ponta Vermelha neighborhood, a location it has occupied since 1933.
Under the aegis of Eduardo Mondlane University, the Museu De História Natural de Maputo aims to provide visitors with enriching naturalistic and ethnographic information and to stimulate research in the realm of biodiversity. Its diverse collections are a testament to Mozambique's varied fauna, flora, and mineral wealth, interspersed with native handicrafts and objects of historical significance.
The museum's principal exhibit is the zoological collection, a mesmerizing array of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, invertebrates, and fish. Among its rare treasures is an exhibition of elephant fetuses, documenting the development from 1 to 22 months, and a specimen of the elusive coelacanth, a living fossil that has intrigued scientists for decades.
In addition to its natural history collections, the museum houses an extensive ethnographic portfolio. This includes about 500 artefacts related to diverse human activities such as dance, sculpture, music, silversmithing, ceramics, basketry, and warfare. The collection further extends to photographs of faces representing different ethnic groups in Mozambique, offering a unique insight into the nation's vibrant cultural tapestry.
A visit to the Museu is not just a tour through an African Art Museum, but an immersive journey through the rich tapestry of Mozambique's natural wonders and cultural heritage.
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