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A Museum for Heritage and Culture at Aba Island, Sudan

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A Project for a Museum of Heritage and Culture on Aba Island, Sudan

The researcher proposes to develop a plan to establish a museum on Aba Island based on systematic scientific principles, through theoretical and applied museology. The researcher considers that the University of Cambridge and the variety of the content within its museums which specialize in diverse fields of study will help him gain experience in the ways of presenting the different displays from the University museums. The area of Aba Island was chosen for the location of this museum because it represents one of the most important historical sites in the modern history of Sudan. It was the base of the Imam Mahdi, who led the revolution against the Turkish regime in Sudan, and so established the first Independent state of Sudan in modern times: the Mahdiya.

This emphasizes the importance of the proposed project for the museum in the area, due to the significance of this region during the Mahdiya period. The collection of heritage material has not yet been fully undertaken, however, this region includes a number tribes and ethnic groups from the different parts of Sudan, hence the available material culture comprises ethnographic materials from different cultural patterns of the Sudan.

The main objectives of the museum are to aid researchers to access the materials, to educate students in Sudanese Universities about Imam Mahdi, as well as enable Post-graduate Students and University staff to conduct research, and to provide tourists with the opportunity to learn about the cultural heritage of the region. The idea to accomplish this project has driven the author for some time. He has become aware of the richness of archeological and ethnographic material, which could compile a significant museum collection. Furthermore, the researcher has been approached by a group of families about preserving the region’s cultural material. The author now seeks means of developing the project and for its implementation, and strongly considers that the opportunities offered by Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Program will enable him to bring this about.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Michaelmas Seminars series.

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