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Nigerian National Museum

The Nigerian National Museum: A Trove of Nigerian Artistry in the Heart of Lagos

Nestled within the bustling cityscape of Lagos, the Nigerian National Museum is a beacon of Nigeria's rich cultural heritage. Founded in 1957 by the English archaeologist Kenneth Murray, this national treasure trove houses a splendid collection of Nigerian art that spans the epochs, ranging from elegant statuary to intricate carvings, and from absorbing archaeological finds to ethnographic exhibits.

One of the museum's crown jewels is the Jemaa Head, a striking example of terra-cotta craft from the Nok culture, dating back to somewhere between 900 and 200 BC. Unearthed in the village of Jemaa—after which it is named—the artifact serves as a tangible connection to Nigeria's prehistoric past.

Despite its slightly disheveled presentation, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the traditional life cycle of Nigerians, from birth, through death, and into the afterlife. The 'Cycle of Life' exhibit showcases an array of intriguing artifacts, including a clay Yoruba pot traditionally used to bury an umbilical cord, and an Egungun masquerade costume resplendent in a vibrant orange cape adorned with sequins, coins, and beads, which is worn during the traditional dance at a chief's funeral.

For a more immersive experience, visitors can hire a tour guide, who can expertly navigate them through the museum's wealth of exhibits, ensuring that guests depart with a profound understanding of Nigeria's history and culture. The cost of this cultural exploration is a modest 200 nairas for locals and 300 nairas for international visitors—roughly equivalent to 1 US dollar—a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge and experience on offer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the entrance fee in National Museum Lagos?

The entrance fee for the National Museum Lagos is 200 nairas for local visitors and 300 nairas for international visitors.

What is the oldest museum in Nigeria?

The National Museum in Lagos, established in 1957, is one of the oldest museums in Nigeria.

What can be found in a Nigerian museum?

A Nigerian museum typically houses a diverse range of artifacts that represent the country's rich cultural heritage. This includes traditional Nigerian art, archaeological finds, ethnographic exhibits, and items that highlight the country's history and traditional life.

What items are in the National Museum?

The National Museum in Lagos is home to a vast collection of Nigerian art, including statuary, carvings, and a variety of archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. One notable artifact is the Jemaa Head, a terra-cotta piece from the Nok culture dating back to 900 to 200 BC.


Contact Information

11 Military St, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Phone 2
Zip/Post Code/P.O. Box
Onikan Rd, Ikoyi 102273, Lagos, Nigeria

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