Moto Moto Museum

Museum in Mbala

This museum in a 1970s modernist building is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It has a large and diverse collection, much of which details the cultural life and history of the Bemba people. Items on display include old drums, traditional musical instruments and an array of smoking paraphernalia. Particularly noteworthy is an exhibition detailing how young Bemba women were traditionally initiated into adulthood. It includes a life-size, walk-in example of an initiation hut, with background info.

Other exhibits cover everything from the lives of hunter-gatherers to the early economic activities of the Bantu, and Zambia during the slave trade and during the two world wars. There’s also a display on rock art, including a map pointing out the country’s key sights. The only drawback is that it’s quite dark so exhibits are not displayed at their best and some are without sufficient explanation.

The gift shop sells baskets, sculptures and masks. To get here, follow the road north out of town for about 500m and turn left just before the prison. The museum is about 3km from the main road.

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