First Ever Museum Opens to Public in Rakai

3406 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
St. Luke Community Museum Kyotera is located at Kiteredde, about 50km south of Masaka Town. It showcases traditional objects received from traditional medicine practitioners who have discarded their beliefs and embraced Christianity.

A community Museum has for the first time opened to the general public in Rakai district sparking off excitement in the area.

St. Luke Community Museum Kyotera is located at Kiteredde, about 50km south of Masaka Town. The Museum was constructed by Banakalooli Brothers of Masaka Diocese to preserve cultural heritage and traditional medicine.

Brother Anatoli Wasswa, the Initiator of the project, says it showcases traditional objects which are received from traditional medicine practitioners who have discarded their beliefs as being anti-Christian.

Some of the items in the Museum are wooden mortar, bark cloths, cowry shells, copper spear and gourds for foretelling spirits, clay and wooden smoking pipes, known in Luganda as Emindi. Other items are traditional bracelets, divining mats for spirit mediums, electrified gourds, traditional coiled knives, shrines, and old East African and Ugandan currencies among other items.

Brother Wasswa says they opened it after getting permission from the ministries of Tourism and Gender and Cultural Affairs after approval from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-UNESCO. The idea, according to Brother Wasswa, is to preserve traditional items and artifacts before they go extinct. He says they decided to start up this Museum to open up a special demonstration centre to educate the general public about the fake myths of traditional healers and their extortionist tendencies.

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Kate Nakaita, the Museum attendant, says although it has just opened to the general public, people are going there to see the traditional items. She says individuals are only allowed to enter after paying 3000 Uganda shillings.

Gertrude Ssebugwaawo, a resident of Rakai says she is excited about opening St. Luke Community Museum. She says she is impressed by the variety of traditional items in the museum which she has never seen before.
Ssebugwaawo also says she has been moved by the demonstrations at the Museum showing how witchdoctors use electrified spirit gourds to con unsuspecting people.

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Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, a resident of Bikira in Masaka, says he is equally excited about the items in the Museum but the owners need to carryout major media campaign to market it. He says the opening of this Museum will sensitize the masses about the traditional beliefs and warn the public about dangers of human sacrifice.

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At the same Museum, there exists a three acre botanical garden with different tree varieties from where herbal medicine is collected.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.