The place of museum in the society

The place of museum in the society
December 17 20:38 2016

By Ikekwem Lilian Ahunna

The word museum is variously defined by different people. This according to Alpha – Omar Kanari (Chartered Musicologists) is because of the plurality of cultures and the divergence of social and economic situation in all parts of the world.To the layman, the museum is place where old objects are kept for historical references. The museum is therefore seen as a building of a place or institution charged with (the responsibility of) collect preservation and display of artifacts, relics and other valuable cultural objects whether man made or natural which is relevant to the people and represent the history of the people past and present. The thing we are going to discuss in this article are the importance of museum in building the society with regards to how it keeps the old object i.e. services rendered to the society. These objects-Artifacts and relics according to decree No 77 of 1979 which established the National Commission for Museums and Monument (NCMM) are objects used before 18 century or ceremonial objects and remnants valued by the society that used them and are not in used due to the face of modernization are brought to the museum for safe guard.

ROLES/IMPORTANCE OF MUSEUM IN BUILDING THE SOCIETY
We all know that no society can exist in cultural vacuum. Every society has a traditional mark of identity. The recognized cultural experiences of any living society can be artistically or technologically represented or constructed either as symbols or structure within a given period. With the wave of changes in our way , it will be difficult to have absolute grip of the chain of events in our culture.

PRESERVATION/CONSERVATION OF CULTURAL ITEMS
Cultural items and other historical relics are preserved and conserved by the museum for future generation. It is the duty of the museum to acquire these objects through any available method. Such as buying, seizing, gifts etc. while the curators and Museologists take proper care of the items the museum as a store house of knowledge if sited in the community can house all aspects of human experiences like hoes, cutlasses, metal and clay, local zinc, cowries, dengun etc. this act of store keeping is very useful to the people who have research interests and instiguring minds. A visit to the museum can reveal the evolutionary trend minds. A visit to the museum can reveal the evolutionary trend of these technological weapon and how the can be improved based on lessons learn from both in style and structure.

II. LINK BETWEEN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
The Museum serve as a link between the past, present and the future for comparison and development. Example: the Black Smiths products such as hoes and knives have moved from having wooden handles to metals that enhanced their durability. Money-Ojonma-Coweries – Penny- Pound – N and K. therefore the setting up of the Museum as a store house of our cultural heritage becomes necessary since the museum can be regarded as screen that reflects the artistic expression of various people in the world (Nigeria in particular).

III. EXHIBITION OF MASTER ART WORK/RECREATION
The museum exhibits master art work and other material cultures in a manner that would evoke feelings from the viewer and enhances aesthetic visual. These aesthetic images will obviously relax or reduce one’s tension at a given moment. That is, it is a tension relaxing tonic for relaxed and productive mind. Example, looking at the Okorocha Masquerade in Owerri Museum gallery with relaxed mind.

IV. INFORMATION DATA BANK/ACQUISITION SKILL
Through museum, people become culturally trained through having direct experience of their cultural materials. The displayed image of vibrant forms of human activities can instill in people what is called pathetic or humanistic education. Students/Researchers collect useful information for their work by visiting the museum. Through the education Art club organized by Education Officers on Saturdays, students or rather the public acquire skill like drawn painting, tie and dye, batik etc.

V. PROMOTION/PRESERVATION OF INDEGENOUS TECHNOLOGY (MOTNA)MUSEUMS OF TRADITIONAL NIGERIA ARCHITECTURE
There are unique Museum that showcase different indigenous over a period of time in Nigeria, example National Museum in Jos showcases Kano city wall, Emir Palace in all its glory, Rukuba Camp; TIV compound etc. through seminars and symposia , workshop held in Museum from time to time people learn of these indigenous technology.

VI. TOURIST CENTRE
The Museum and tourism have a close link. The museum as an institution is a tourist centre. Most tourist who have undertaken tours do this essentially to have real life experience of culture and environment different from their own. Even those that make tours for other reasons would like to learn something about the cultural and natural resources of the place visited.

VII. SALES OUTLET OF TRADICTIONAL ART CRAFT
The Museum patronizes the traditional artists by providing gallery and art shop for them where they can display and sell arts and crafts. Example: National Museum Kaduna Maintain a crafts workshop as well as a shop where finished goods are bought and sold. They have hair salon where different fashionable Nigerian hair styles were made.

VIII. CREATE EMPLOYMENT
The museum creates employment for both skilled and unskilled labour. The state where museum is located still maintains or rather retain its right of employing unskilled labour-lower cadre. Through its holiday and batik programme, it empowers people.

IX. CENTRE FOR THE PROMOTIONS OF GOOD WILL AND UNITY
Museum was commissioned to help unify the country after civil war. Such museum as – building a museum of National Unity One at Enugu, Ibadan, Sokoto, Abuja etc. these museum show case objects of different ethnic background. In a nutshell, the roles of museum towards building the society cannot be over emphasis. Due to dynamic nature of man and its environ, Museum inspite of all difficulties it is facing skill pressures/Conserved cultural objects links the past, present and the fures; exhibits master are work; served as information data bank for researcher; promote indigenous technology, served as tourist centre; create employment and promotes good will and unity.

Ikekwem Lilian Ahunna is the Principal Museum Officer at the National Museum, Minna, Niger state.