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Established in 1997: Tanji Village Museum

My Magazine 2022/08
7 min
Tanji Village Museum is located at Tanji, 2km south of the fishing village along the Kombo coastal road. The museum is the first privately operated museum that was founded in 1997 by Mr Abdoulie Bayo. Mr Bayo was the former curator of The National Museum in Banjul. When he retired to his community, he decided to set up a museum with a unique setting.

The museum is a natural history and ethnographic museum, divided into different galleries which exhibit authentic Gambia. Part of the museum is open-air, portraying the traditional Gambian compound and nature trail. When you walk into the museum, every piece of information is self-explanatory and easy to understand as everything is written in English and detailed.

The museum is not only a place for visitors but a learning centre for students to come and learn the history, culture and tradition of their ancestors.

One of the exhibitions with the photo gallery lies the vegetation and birds of the Gambia. It also contains information about the animals that used to live in the Gambia and those today labelled as endangered species, especially due to harmful human activities. Another part of the exhibition holds information about traditional Gambian food and cash crops cultivated in the country. Musical instruments of the different tribes can also be found here.

The temporary exhibitions bring together the handwork of local Gambia craftsmen and the dress style of various ethnic groups in the past. Paintings, weavings, tie & dye and more.

The centrepiece exhibits a traditional Mandinka compound depicting how people lived centuries ago. The place comprises a few roundhouses with carefully selected artefacts and traditional furniture like wooden beds, stools, jars, weapons, farm tools and more. The site reflects the villager's traditional roles and how men and women lived.

You can have a wonderful experience at the Tanji Village Museum and then enjoy a relaxing refreshment with traditional African music in the background. You can buy souvenir handicrafts from the shop to keep as a memory of your visit.

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