Welcome to the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Gabon
The National Museum of Arts and Traditions (MNAT) is a must for visiting visitors, but also for Gabonese who rediscover through traditional exhibitions, traditional objects that honor the Gabonese culture.
Most of the collections of the museum were collected between 1954 and 1975, throughout the Gabonese territory by researchers from the ORSTOM (Office of Scientific and Technical Research Overseas). These ethnologists and ethnomusicologists also collected some 900 hours of sound recordings, ie 1,200 cataloged pieces.
In 2005, the museum began a cycle of temporary exhibitions which should allow in a few years to present to the public all museum collections, or 2500 objects.
• “Discovering Masks of Gabon”
This exhibition presented to the public from August 2005 to May 2007, proposed the discovery of the most famous masks: the masks tsogho, sango and duma in all their diversity, the famous Ngil and Ngon ‘Tang des Fang, the famous mask Mukudji of Punu, the rare masks of Téké, Kwélé and Kota, and of course the Okukwé mask of Galoa. The film “Dissumba”, broadcast on the big screen, featured some of the masks on display, including the very impressive Mowei,
• “Villages and traditional Gabonese houses”
In May 2007, the museum inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to the habitat of the different peoples of Gabon focusing on traditional building techniques and materials. Fifty photographs showcase the diversity of buildings and their evolution during the 20th century. Five dioramas depicting the spatial organization of the villages and five traditional houses set up on the forecourt of the Museum gave the public the opportunity to visit two pygmy houses made of leaves, a bamboo house,
• “Masks of Gabon”
As part of the great event “Africa in Yvelines” (September 2007-March 2008), the National Museum presented at the Museum of the Hotel-Dieu in Mantes-la-Jolie, the exhibition “Masks of Gabon”, from October 13, 2007 to March 16, 2008.
• Contemporary sculpture
Currently, the museum exhibits some twenty works created during the first international symposium of wood carving held in Libreville in August 2012.
The reception of the school public:
The museum has a mission: to offer young Gabonese, in full identity construction, a positive image of their culture. The Educational Workshops of the Museum were designed in collaboration with “Master Trainers” of the Ministry of National Education. Since February 2006, the animators have offered guided tours and fun and manual workshops.
In 2008 , a project was considered a priority: to ensure the conservation of collections.
The collections have been damaged for many years by moisture and xylophagous insects.
The planned conservation measures were carried out in four stages:
- Renovation of premises (2008 to August 2010)
- Disinfestation of the museum and collections (after the renovation works).
- Reservoir Development (2010)
For 2011-2012 , the priority project will be the documentation of the collections, with inventory control and an update of the collections documentation system.