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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

NINETEEN YEARS' AGO -
Coastweek November 02 - 06, 1999:

MINISTER BIWOTT OPENING ‘HAZINA HERITAGE CENTRE’

Coastweek -- WITH GROWING interest in Kenya’s rich cultural past the Hazina Heritage Centre could not come at a more opportune time and is sure to attract many visitors from home and abroad, as well as students wishing to learn more about the way of life of the past of different tribes, reported NETA PEAL.

It was due to be officially opened by the Minister for Tourism, Trade and Industry, Hon. Nicholas K. Biwott, on Thursday, November 4, at 3.30 p.m.

This unique cultural museum is situated in what was once the first Anglican Church in Mombasa being built between 1894-6 by the Church Missionary Society of England which played a very prominent and humanitarian role in re-settling slaves arriving at Mombasa after being rescued at sea by British warships.

It is to be found in the grounds of the present Anglican Memorial Cathedral off Nkrumah Road.

The museum stands witness to a very remarkable feat by Lucas Wanyoike, a Director and artist, who since 1985 has been travelling all over Kenya collecting traditional items many of which had been left to rot.

His collection includes traditional attire and adornment, beautifying oils used by ladies in olden days, weaponry and tools, some 300 years old, musical instruments, one with six strings from the Luhya community (circa 1935).

There are traditional ‘tools of the trade’ of medicine-men, witch-doctors and seers, also a Portrait Gallery of early pictures of different tribes.

As well, there is a display of curative herbs and plants which, today has become known as ‘alternative medicine’ and is sought after by many.

Lucas is also developing a Botanical Garden with indige-nous medicinal and other plants for visitors to observe in their natural state.

An insight into ancestral worship is also given.

It is a very prodigious and most welcome development at Mombasa and Lucas must be congratulated on the fruition of 14 years hard work in collecting and preserving what he can of Kenya’s rich cultural heritage and showing it to the world, otherwise it might just disappear.

 

             

 

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