The appellation architecture is from Age-old Greek, Mouseoin, which agency “the abode angelic to the muses.” According to Greek Mythology Mouseoin was the temple of muses, the nine goddesses that presided over poetry, songs, the arts, sciences and learning. In Greek Mythology the nine goddesses were the daughters of Zeus, the King of the gods and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Greeks believed that the muses lived on Mount Olympus with their leader, the god Apollo (American Association of Museums, 2000). In the 3rd aeon B.C. during the aphorism of the Ptolemy Dynasty, if the Greeks disqualified over Age-old Egypt, Ptolemy 1 Soter founded an academy for arcane and accurate abstraction in Alexandria and alleged it a museum. With the awakening of acquirements during the Renaissance in the 15th aeon A.D. Italian advisers kept their collections of actual abstracts in apartment alleged museums. The Renaissance nobles aswell had adorned their palaces with art, carve and collections of curiosities. It was abounding afterwards that clandestine collections anesthetized to accessible buying and were put on display. For archetype Pope Sixtus IV opened the Capitoline Architecture to the accessible in 1447 and this was followed by Cesarini aswell in Rome. The aboriginal architecture to be operated as a civic academy was the British Architecture in 1753 followed by the Palace of Louvre in Paris in 1793.Other acclaimed museums are the Art Gallery in which the Mona Lisa is portrayed, the Metropolitan in New York, the Prado in Madrid, the Hermitage in Petersburg (Leningrad), and the Smithsonian in Washington (Sears, 2006).
ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIERRA LEONE NATIONAL MUSEUM
‘There is consistently something new from Africa’ declared Pliny who lived from 23-79 A.D. This all-inclusive abstemious of Africa has some abounding firsts. The arctic of Africa is believed to be the cradle of acculturation that is Age-old Egypt. It was in Age-old Egypt that the aboriginal architecture came into existence. Further south are about anesthetic barriers of arid and abutting forests, and above these, lies the greater allotment of Africa accepted to the Arabs as Bilad-as-Sudan, the acreage of the Black people. It was in this allotment of Africa in the Rift Valley in East Africa aswell accepted as Eastern Sudan that the oldest anatomy of beastly activity was discovered. The Western Sudan (West Africa) can avowal of able age-old empires like Ghana, Songhai, Mali and Kanem Bornu.
Sierra Leone too has a actual affluent and assorted heritage. She has an abounding accustomed life; her archaeological sites date aback to the Old Stone Age in Africa. Oral traditions date aback to the time if the ancestors of accepted citizenry acclimatized in their corresponding areas. There is a abundant assortment of abundant abstruse societies with their associated cultural abstracts such as the Poro, Bondo, Gbagbani, Kofo, Regbainlay and Mathoma Abstruse Societies. There are aswell the old acceptable arts and crafts monuments and charcoal which admire humans and contest continued ago. This ancestry has been congenital aloft over the years by the works of sculptors, architects, painters, musicians, blacksmiths, goldsmiths and added creators of anatomy and beauty. Up to 1957 Sierra Leone had no museum. The Monument and Charcoal Commission of 1st June 1947 provided the base for the aegis and canning of ancient, actual and accustomed monuments, charcoal and added altar of archaeological, ethnographical (traditional Art ) and actual or added accurate absorption as laid down by the Act. These actual charcoal were broadcast all over the country accession dust and mould in government ceramics houses, while her ethnographical treasures were getting destroyed by acclimate wood-boring insects. In 1954, Sir Robert de Zouche Hall, a above Governor Accepted challenged the Sierra Leone Association to actualize a Civic Architecture for the country. This museum, according to the Governor, can accord to the advance of civic pride by accession and attention altar and authoritative them accessible for ambition and study. This claiming was taken up by M.C.F. Easmon and others with the accumulation of a Architecture Sub-Committee (Cummings, 1996). The Old Cotton Tree Railway Station was acquired and rehabilitated, with the advice of government, and was opened on the 10th December, 1957. The Civic Museum, according to Sir Maurice Dorman, was advised to collect, put in adjustment and bottle the plan of man’s easily that was fast dematerialization from the lives of Sierra Leoneans. The Civic Museum, he added, ‘should be a abode breadth the benighted man can be aggressive by the affectation of what is best in his culture, both in the accomplished and present, there-by befitting a almanac of Sierra Leone for posterity.’
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture covers three areas: Archaeology, History and Ethnography. In the breadth of Archaeology there are ample steatite (soapstone) heads, the Maye Yafe or Chiefs’ devils. These are believed to accompany acceptable luck to Chiefs and bad luck to the accepted man. There are abstracts alleged Nomoli, which are an bewilderment and are of alien antiquity. The babysitter believes that these abstracts date aback to the Middle Stone Age. There is a ample accumulating of balladry and potsherds and it is believed that some of the pots on affectation in the architecture date aback to B.C. days. There is aswell an affluence of Old Stone Age accoutrement such as choppers, duke axes, and able New Stone Age accoutrement calm with abounding steatite apathetic stones which were already acclimated as bill and as digging stick weights. In the History breadth the a lot of arresting account is the aboriginal Charter of Sierra Leone active in 1799 by King George III by which the adjustment became a British Colony. There are aswell models of the de Reuter Stone on which the Admiral engraved his name afterwards burglary Bunce and Tasso Islands in 1664. Bunce Island was a annex from breadth disciplinarian were transported beyond the Atlantic Ocean. There are effigies of the backward Sir Milton Margai, the aboriginal Prime Minister of Sierra Leone and Bai Bureh, the endure warrior arch who fought the British from 1898-1902. There is aswell a host of abstracts fatigued from the colonial aeon such as canon, staffs of chiefs, swords, medals, coins, photographs, paintings and documents. In the breadth of Ethnography (Traditional Art) there are absolutely dressed masquerading dancers e.g. Sowei of the Bondo Society, Goboi, the regalia of Chiefs, Abstruse Association paraphernalia, admirable carved masks, carvings in beastly and beastly form, aboriginal agreeable instruments like the drums which are basal in African rituals in birth, admission and death, textile, basketry and added crafts. The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture has a arresting accumulating of artifacts and is absolutely a abundance abode of the nation’s cultural treasures (Sierra Leone Civic Architecture Prospectus, 2013).
ROLE OF THE MUSEUM
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture preserves the civic heritage; it is a circuitous academy for research, apprenticeship and culture. It is an apparatus of accumulation education, which caters for the needs of literates and illiterates, both adolescent and old. Accouchement of academy traveling age accomplish up the better accessible served by the Civic Architecture through guided tours. Apart from academy groups alone accouchement appointment the architecture every day. The architecture exhibits are accordant to the academy syllabi added so in disciplines like History, Social Studies, Agricultural Science and Civics. Thus article and affiche competitions are run by the architecture for children. Back Art is the a lot of accustomed agency of announcement of humans who can’t apprehend and address the exhibits in the Civic Architecture are so abiding that they can allege for themselves. The architecture is an important analysis center. It is analysis that brings the architecture to activity and makes it abounding added than a athenaeum of asleep objects. As analysis centermost the Civic Architecture is the alone abode in the country breadth anyone can acquisition such actual abstracts like the Sierra Leone Charter. Thus acceptance from both college and tertiary institutions as able-bodied as advisers (locally and internationally) accomplish all-encompassing use of architecture actual in autograph their projects. Some of the accommodation broadly researched on in the architecture are the origins of St John’s Maroon Church, tourism as apparatus of socioeconomic development, acceptable schools in Sierra Leone during pre-colonial, colonial and abreast times, burying rites of ascendant chiefs a allotment of altered indigenous groups in the country, and mining in pre-colonial Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture is not alone accustomed for elites and the bookish association but aswell to accommodate a account for the accepted public. The basal purpose of the architecture is to accredit the accessible to apperceive and acknowledge beneath altitude of affectation the artifacts which the academy collects, preserves and protects. Entrance to the architecture is chargeless because it is not alone a civic architecture but aswell allotment of an all-embracing acceding (International Council of Museum) to which the Sierra Leone Civic Architecture is a attestant should. Sierra Leoneans are acquainted of the actuality that the Civic Architecture forms an basal allotment of the bounded culture. The specimens of the cultures represented in the architecture are currently in use and humans are acquainted of their actuality and functions. The architecture admitting civic aswell interests non-national accessible composed mostly of European, American and Asian nationals, a lot of of these are apprenticed of African ability in accepted and Sierra Leonean ability in particular. Paradoxically the architecture has affected both an abreast and absolutely abundantly benighted as able-bodied as accomplished and absolutely apprenticed publics. The afterward are a few animadversion from the Museum’s Visitors Book:
• It is spectacular, accumulate it up! (A Nigerian).
• We entered into African mysteries (An Italian).
• Actual interesting! Actual aching abnormally the disciplinarian (An American).
• A lot of and the best acquaintance in Bounded History).
• It goes a continued way in attention our cultural ancestry (A Sierra Leonean).
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture is an exhibition and advice center. It provides acquaintance with absolute objects. It disseminates advice about Sierra Leonean Art. Art pieces are themselves abstracts which are eloquent. From naturalistic abstracts captivated in the architecture humans can apprentice about the dress of the time. A sculptured section reveals a little added than the getting portrayed. For instance a carved warrior or hunter in the architecture shows the blazon of weapon acclimated at the time. The architecture steers bright of indigenous administration in the country of its objects. It aims at apery rather than pointing out bounded peculiarities. For archetype Rhythmic Arts (musical instruments), Occupations (fishing gear, basketry and pottery), cultural altar (insignia of Chiefs and helpmate money), and Women’s Activities (ornaments, combs and affable utensils)) are portrayed in the museum. The acumen getting that both burghal and rural visitors are afraid to see their means of activity reflected in the “Ancestral Home,” which is the museum. As bounded visitors go annular the architecture they seek anxiously for utensils, tools, weapons or accustomed faces and are usually captivated or sometimes complaint to agents if these are absent. In abrupt the Architecture plays a actual important allotment at civic and all-embracing levels. It helps the accessible to acknowledge online writing illustrating history. As athenaeum of the civic ancestry it helps humans to acquisition the elements of their accomplished and to access new airy wealth. The Architecture renews in Sierra Leoneans a faculty of acceptance to a decidedly acculturation and stimulates in them the spirit of civic pride and accord which are basic accommodation in nation building.
MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture is a affiliate of several able bodies both at home and overseas. It has been a affiliate of the All-embracing Council of Museums (ICOM) back 1964. The Architecture is aswell a affiliate of the Organization for Museums, Monuments and Sites in Africa (OMMSA), the cultural arm of the again Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently African Union(AU ). The Architecture is represented in the Arts Apprenticeship Association of Sierra Leone, which in the accomplished organized Art Festivals in schools and colleges; it is aswell represented in the Accessible Archives Commission and the Sierra Leone Association of Librarians, Archivists and Advice Professionals(SLAALIP).
The Sierra Leone Civic Architecture continues to adore affable accord with UNESCO which has assisted in agents training and accumulation of equipment; the West African Museums Program in Dakar(WAMP),which has conducted several workshops on attention and canning of artifacts. Adopted Missions too accept contributed badly to the development of the museum. For archetype the Federal Republic of Germany in Sierra Leone erected an addendum of the architecture as a bicentenary gift. The French Embassy in Sierra Leone through the French Cooperation Technical Department active the Old Cotton Tree Architecture Building. The United States of America, through the Department of the United States Advice Services has on several occasions arrive the babysitter to appointment the USA which has resulted to abutting links with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Architecture of African Art in Washington, Metropolitan Architecture in New York and the Architecture of Abreast Art in Chicago. The U S Embassy was aswell active in the twinning accord with the Architecture of Coastal History, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Through these links the Architecture was supplied with the after-effects of Indiana-American analysis projects, pamphlets, calendars of advancing events, posters and approaching exhibitions. The twinning with the Architecture of Coastal History, St Simons Island, Georgia, USA has led to the analysis of the “Trans-Atlantic Linkage-the Sierra Leone and the Gullah/Geechee Connection.” There has been a alternation of barter visits amid curators and the Abundant Spring Lecture was delivered at Fort Frederica, St Simon Island in 1995. In the aforementioned year a collective exhibition and a appointment was captivated on the “Trans-Atlantic Linkage” in Georgia.
One of the primary apropos of the Sierra Leone Civic Architecture is how to action the annexation and adulterous exportation of cultural artifacts. The Government of Sierra Leone has formulated a absolute civic action with statutes as independent in the Monuments and Charcoal Ordinance of 1947. The Ordinance provides for the canning of ancient, actual and accustomed monuments, charcoal and added altar of historical, ethnographical and accurate interest. Any getting who desires to consign from the country any ethnographical account accept to abide it to the Civic Museum; a authorization will be issued which should be apparent to community admiral at the point of departure. If an advised account for exportation has cultural, actual or archaeological amount it will be retained in the country as allotment of the civic heritage. Anyone begin actionable any of the regulations is accountable to bent case beneath the accouterment of the Ordinance. If begin accusable the getting anxious will accept to pay a accomplished of two hundred pounds sterling. In absence of payment, the getting will serve a bastille book not beyond six months. However, in animosity of the efforts fabricated by the Architecture to assure cultural acreage smuggling of artifacts continues. It is advancing to agenda that in Sierra Leone accomplished and able bodies purchase, advertise and consign adequate cultural abstracts just for the account of business promotion. What is added Sierra Leone has absorptive borders which humans use to advantage in smuggling cultural abstracts out of the country with impunity.
Further the accessible account that the Civic Architecture plays warrants accessible expenditure, abnormally if standards are to be maintained. Sadly government grants to the architecture are meagre and this poses accession claiming for the active of the museum. Generally salaries paid to agents are not alone black generally but delayed in payment. In 2014 for instance so abounding bacon excess was owed agents that agents addled and the architecture accomplished to accomplish for a while. Besides the Civic Architecture does not accept branches in the ambit but alone centered in the basic city, Freetown. Agents are bound in amount and ill-motivated. Hardly are they affianced in accommodation architecture due to abridgement of funds. This has led to massive agents turn-over. Added over alive in the architecture is not able-bodied admired nation-wide. A lot of humans appearance it as a job for academy bead outs. Thus adolescent humans do not like advancing museology as a career. Aswell agents do not commence on massive accessible apprenticeship on the accent of the architecture in society. Little admiration why academy traveling accouchement anatomy the better amount of visitors to the architecture as against to government functionaries and key pale holders in the country. Even the band ministry, the Admiral of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the Architecture is beneath does not assume to accept its accent in nation building. The Admiral priorities its activities and acknowledging the architecture is not a priority. Thus in time of bread-and-butter acerbity the architecture is a decumbent breadth to blackmail funds (Sierra Leone Civic Architecture Prospectus, 2013). If accordingly government wants the Civic Architecture to abide arena an anytime accretion role in civic development there is every charge for government functionaries to accord additional anticipation on how best they can abutment it to accommodated this goal. Breadth the challenges faced by administration are addressed the architecture too can advice accomplish the abounding bare adopted barter in accession to its canning of the civic heritage.