Museo Etnografico Africa-Mozambico
The artifacts come from the African Mission of Capuchin firars in Mozambique: they include masks, musical instruments, objetcs made of ivory as well as a lot of documents.
Museo Villaggio Africano
Basella di Urgnano
The works exhibited in this museum-village since 1984 come from the collection of a Passionist Missionaries, a religious congregation founded in 1743. Tribal handcraft works are on display in the museum-village but some are also for sale. The profits go to the congregation whicj helps people in Africa. The objects come mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa (Dogon, Baule, Mahongwe).
Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali "Enrico Caffi"
The museum was born in 1917 when the cabinet of curiosities of the Royal Technical Institute was merged with several private collections of the area. After several places, it was finally established in the sumptuous Piazza Cittadella palace in 1960. The ethnographical section just opened: the largest part of the collection was brought back by Costantino Beltrami, who "discovered" the source of the Mississipi River; it includes ritual and everyday artifacts of thelocal Indian populations. The african rooms are also new and feature art from Nigeria, Cameroon and Central Africa through no less than 86 regional cultures.
Biblioteca delle Arti e Tradizioni Africane
This is a precious library: students, reseachers and amateurs alike go to this place belonging to a private individual who owns a collection of Africanartifacts and, above all, unique books such as the first edition (1687) of the "Historical Description of the Congolese, Matamba and Agolese Reigns" by Capuchin friar Giovan Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo. To put it simply, this place is the Borgesian maze of tribal art !
Museo Civico Medievale
The Museo Civico Medievale is cared for the personal collection of Ezio Bassani, which he bequeathed to the city of Bologna. Curator of the exhibition Africa, capolavori da un continente (Africa, masterpieces from a continent), supporter of the exclusively aesthetic view of so-called primitive works, Bassani collected a lot of artifacts from cultures ranging from West Africa to Angola. The collection features a Bambara mask (Mali) with almost perfect proportions, a highly stylized Dan mask (Ivory Coast) and a series of Hemba ancestor figures (DRC) enabling connections with past generations. It is a pity though that these prime examples of African art are not on permanent display...
Museo Nazionale di Antropologia a Etnologia
This top-ranking museum was created in 1869 by the anthropologist Paolo Mantegezza who got interested in non European peoples very early. The collections were built up thanks to expeditions led by Mantegazza himself in areas of the world that were then almost totally unknown, such as Lapland, New Guinea, India... The directors who came after him took up the torch and embarked on journeys designed to collect documents, artifacts and pictures. Meanwhile, the museum kept on developing its research and popularization side and rapidly became a meeting place for the country's scientists. It also kept on expanding since the Indian museum was joined to the museum as soon as 1891.
Civiche Raccolte d'Arte Applicata e Incisioni - Museo degli Strumenti Musicali
The Castello Sforzesco in Milan has gone trhough many trials and tribulations since it was built in the 14th century, as it was destroyed, rebuilt, extended and conquered. This impressive building which underwent French, Spanish and Austrian occupation among others contains an ethnographical collection in which the most beautiful artifacts are of african origin: let's mention for instance the Nigerian mama mask (stylized bull mask) shown in the Turin exhibition entitled Africa Nera: arte e cultura along with other works from the same collection.
Centro di documentazione e Museuo etnografico
Inside this former Franciscain couvent at Montone are 600 exclusively east-african objects. The place is original in the sense that a specific museographical arrangement was chosen: the artifacts are not classified according to ethnic groups but to use and shape. The curator is willing to move away from the museum tradition which, according to him, is too stamped by colonialism.
Museo delle Culture Extraeuropee "Dinz Rialto"
Dinz Rialto's friends used to call hime "the new Marco Polo". This tireless traveller went all over the world for 25 years. In the second half of the 20th century, he lived in Africa where he discovered the few works of authentic art still available, went to Polynesia, Melanesia ans settled in Brazil, visited the Andes, the land of the Maya and the Aztec... He wanted to give Italians a big museum devoted to remote cultures: he achieved his goal by bringing back 600 artifacts. Located in the impressive fortress of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the lord of Rimini in the 15th century, the museum contains three sections: the African section (featuring works from Sub-Saharan Africa - from Mali to the Cape of Good Hope - and including a huge Guinean fertility bust), the Oceanic section (Australia, Polynesia, Melanesia) and the Mid-American section.
This museum mainly features works cominf from the former colonies of the horn of Africa (Lybia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea). The collection of Ethiopian figures is one of the most beautiful in the world and the twenty or so traditionnal musical instruments cominf from Libya and Ethiopia are really amazing.
Museo Nazionale Preistorica Etnografico Luigi Pigorini
The museum owes its name to the Parmesan paleoethnologist Luigi Pigorini who wanted, in 1876, to show the production of the "living savages and barbarian peoples". The collections are incredibly varied and of great quality, focusing on Central and South America, Africa and Oceania. Some of the works on display are very ancient, such as the Olmec figures (Mexico) dating to before Christ. One of the largest Oceanic collections in Europe (Melanesia, Polynesia, Australia) is on display since 1999. It was built up at the end of the 19th century through various expeditions and it contains for instance a superb Lagimu mask with amazingly fresh-looking colours. The African section features some of the most ancien pieces known, some of which date back to the 16th century. The most beautiful works include ivories coming from the former Portugese colonies, fabrics from Congo and a small magical figure from the Cabinda region, considered as one of the finest examples of African tribal art.
Città del Vativano / Pontificio Museo Missionario Etnologico
The Missionary-Ethnological museum was created by Pius XI in 1926. First located in the upper floors of the Lateran Palace, it was later moved to Vatican at John XXIII's request. It contains works from Africa, Pre-Columbian America and Oceania. It was often said that the african objects were mere "copies" made by the local peoples to protect their real heritage from being looted by the missionaries. However there are a few wonderful ancient pieces,like the aztec Quetzalcoalt from the 15th century.
Museo di Antropologia ed Etnografia
The museum was born in 1923 from the collection of Antonio Marro, a psychiatrist, sociologist and athropologist. Relocated in the current Palazzo San Giovanni, the collection was scattered during the war but entirely gathered again in 1945. It was then bequeathed to the University in 1961. The four sections - ethnography, primatology, paleoethnology and anthropology - include rare Egyptian works and the unique (and famous!) small Zemi fabric figure from Santo Domingo dating back to the 19th century.
Museo di Numismatica, Etnografia e Arti Orientali
The ethnographical section was created in 1864 and is the oldest in the museum. It was enriched year after year thanks to numerous bequests, like Zaverio Calpini's and Battista Donalisio's. The history of certain objects is very old, like the Indian canoe formerly owned by Darien which disappeared then was found again in one of the tunnels of the Palazzo Madama. Several transfers of objects have modified the rest of the collection where there are now a set of african ceremonial weapons, small figures, musical instruments and magical objects as well as a set of valuable american artifacts from the Zapotec, Maya and Huaxtec cultures.
By buiding up this African collections, the Combonian Missionnaries were first and foremst willing to show their fellow citizens the everyday life and imagination of the peoples they lived with. Intended to develop cultural exchange, the museum opened in 1938. The current renovation follows that of 1996 during which the collections had been rethought and multimedia introduced.
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