Maputo — The Vice-Chancellor of Mozambique's oldest university, the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Maputo, Orlando Quilambo, on Tuesday inaugurated the UEM's Archaeology Museum.
Quilambo told the inauguration ceremony that the museum intends to be a space that tells the history of mankind and its evolution through displaying a range of artefacts discovered during many decades of research in Mozambique, from the colonial period to the present.
The underlying ideology of the museum, however, is quite different from that of any colonial institution. It intends to use the practices, values and memories of Mozambican populations to sustain the idea of a dignified pre-colonial past, in opposition to the colonial ideology of European supremacy.
“Archaeology plays a very important role in revealing the material witnesses to a history of Mozambique, the southern African region and the world, showing the evidence for commercial and cultural ties with the world dating from periods much more remote than was once believed”, said Quilambo.
From this museum, he added, the results of Mozambican archaeological research will be discussed in national and international academic debates.
Quilambo said that in 2011 the UEM began a course on Anthropology and the Management of Cultural Heritage, which is one of the cornerstones of this museum, combining theory and practice.
“Through the history of Mozambique shown in the exhibition displayed here, it is intended to combine knowledge with leisure, respecting one of the purposes of a museum, which is non-formal and inclusive education”, said the Vice-Chancellor.
The director of the UEM Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Claudio Mungoi, said the museum is the result of more than eight years of work, in which there had been advances and setbacks and even periods of paralysis.
But now, he summarised, the museum “is a place of wisdom, and a meeting point for the makers of science, and of peace and harmony”.