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SUKUMA MUSEUM AT BUJORA

 
 

For people with interest in African culture and history, a visit to Bujora Sukuma Museum is much recommended. Furthermore, it is an open air museum in a pleasant countryside. It takes half a day tour by car and by public transport day tour from Mwanza.

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Traditional House

Bujora is about 20 kilometers from the city center on the road to Musoma and Kenya. Bujora is  part of the little town of Kisesa. To Kisesa minibuses travel from the city center. From the bus stop at Kisesa one walks about 20 minutes uphill,  if one does not have a car or does not take a taxi. In the museum are guided tours in English and Swahili which last nearly two hours. Afterwards one can still walk around, take pictures, have a drink and can rest in the beautiful Round Church built like a traditional Sukuma House. The cult objects like altar, tabernacle, pulpit, etc. are shaped in Sukuma fashion.

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Building for the old traditional drums

 

The founder of the museum in the 1950s was the Canadian Father David Clement of the Missionaries of Africa [White Fathers]. His aim was to integrate the Christian religion with  the Sukuma culture – “inculturation”. A memorial grave for “Padre Klementi” lies outside of the church. Unfortunately,  he died in 1986 in Canada. He also collected the chiefs’ drums, local medicine, household utensils, iron making tools, information about the Sukuma chiefs and dancing groups, etc. in order to preserve the richness and the values of the Sukuma culture.

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Mother Mary with Baby Jesus

There is also a Sukuma Research Center and a famous Cultural Choir connected with the parish. Accommodations for visitors are rather simple and need restoration. Sometimes one can order a local meal before the tour. For a performance of a Sukuma dancing group one has to ask in advance and agree about the price [about TsH 100,000].  Contact the chief guide Richard Buluma [mobile phone number 0754637513].

On the way to Bujora one can see impressive African Christian paintings in the Catholic Churchof  Nyakato – National Housing, painted by Charles Ndege in the 1980s. Then passing Igoma on the left of the road is a monument to Julius Nyerere and next to it the graveyard of the unknown bodies taken out of the M.V. Bukoka ferry boat after it sank in Lake Victoria in 1996. (Fr. George Pelz)

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