The Historical and Cultural sites; Genocide Museums in Rwanda
Rwanda comprises of three tribes namely, the Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa. The former colonial power, Germany, lost the possession of Rwanda during the First World War and the territory was placed under the Belgian administration. The history of Rwanda is so long but full of unrest accompanied by blood shade; remember the recent 1994 civil war that turned into the Genocide.
Genocide Memorial Museums; it’s also truth to urge that some of the present genocide memorial sites are as a result of blood shade evidenced by the thousands of skeletons laid to rest in the museum. The killing of the Habyarimana was the catalyst for the eruption of the 1994 genocide, in which many Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.
The Tutsi RPF conquered Rwanda, and there was counter genocide of the Hutus by the Tutsis. Many of the Hutus fled as refugees, contributing to large refugee camps of the Hutus in the nearby DRC, where there were already refugees from other countries. At the end of the war, many genocide memorial centers cropped up and among them include; Gisozi genocide memorial museum that is located in the heart of Kigali city, it is easily accessed and most visited. The other genocide museums include; Nyamata, Mulambi, Ntarama, Kigali as well as Bisesero as well as Nyarubuye.
The Iby ‘iwacu cultural Village; this is one of the major cultural sites in Rwanda and is located in northern Rwanda near volcanoes National Park. The center shows Rwanda culture through Art and crafts, traditional clothes, cultural demonstrations, hunting attires among others. At the site, the visitors are taught Rwandan skills of dressing, skills in Art and crafts, singing among others.
This cultural center was set to enable local communities also share from tourism cake to enable locals earn a living and stop them from poaching. Therefore, the presence of Ibyiwacu cultural centre has not only led to the development of the local communities and has played a bigger role in the preservation of the wildlife including mountain gorillas, birds, golden monkeys and many more.
The presidential palace museum is also located in Kanombe in Kigali City which is about 2kms from Kigali international Airport. This served as home to Juvenal Habyarimana and Pasteur Bizimungu during the 1970s up to the late 1990s. The Presidential Palace Museum is one of the new museums in Kigali. It gives visitors a chance to visit the former state house as well as gain an overview of Rwanda’s history; one can also visit some of the flight debris of the FALCON 50 presidential plane that went down on 6th April 1994.
The King’s Palace Museum; located in Rukari in Nyanza province 88km from Kigali city. It was the residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa and the Royal Palace that was traditionally built. The Museum brings out an excellent picture of Rwanda traditional monarchy – the site was restored in 19th century and the recently Long Horned cows called “Inyambo” were introduced to the King’s palace because they are part of Rwanda couture. On the neighboring hill of Mwima, one can also visit the burial grounds of King Mutara III and his wife Queen Rosalie Gicanda.
There is also the museum of national History; this is known as the Kandt house. Its located 10kms from Kigali international Airport. It was named after Dr. Richard Kandt, a German explore and a doctor to appreciate his work of initiating the setting of the museum. The Natural History Museum aims at explaining the richness of Rwanda’s Nature. The idea being that it is only through the knowledge of the nature we live in that our behavior and understanding will change. This museum showcases many specimens and replica of the natural wonders of the country.
The Environment museum; it’s the only and also the first of this kind in Africa. It focuses mainly on environmental preservation. The first emphasis was put on energy produced in Rwanda and in the rest of the world and the role energy plays in an ever changing environment.
The Rwanda National Museum; this is the most known and the major ethnographic and archaeological collections in East Africa with more than 10,000 artifacts. It’s located in Huye and was inaugurated on September 18th 1989.
The Rwesero Arts Museum; it’s situated on Rwesero hill in Nyanza province. It was built as palace for king Mutara 111 Rudahigwa, but he never had the time to move in it he dies before occupying it and was converted into an art museum. It’s situated at the top of the Rwesero hill in the city of Nyanza. The Art Museum is linked to the Olympic Academy, the cultural center, the sports museum and the stadiums of sports.
There is also the Museum of Rwandan Ancient History; the museum shows art works which justifies the creativity of Rwandans, its located 2km from the Nyanza town.
Lastly is the Ethnographic museum which is located in Huye region and its 132kms south of Kigali- Rwanda’s capital city. The museum was built in 1987 and now houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections. It has seven galleries that display historical, ethnographic, and artistic and the archaeological artifacts that are accompanied by visual aids, giving the visitors rich insights into Rwanda’s culture.