The answer to this question is a simple “yes!” because as things are at the moment, I wanted to read many of the information posters and boards standing and stuck in the museum at this fort but because of time……I couldn’t. Like I mentioned in the previous blog post about Fort Jesus, the place was dripping with history content unlike the Old Fort of Zanzibar that I don’t quite remember spotting a big museum at. Fort Jesus of Kenya had so much in it that shows that there is a lot of past to be treasured.
The few hours I spent in the museum got me to the realisation that a picture is truly worth a thousand words.This is so because I looked around the museum on my own for some of the amazing ancient figures that were there but also sort the help of a guide to explain some facts on other figures.
Some of the cool old stuff I saw at the museum, though junkie looking, did have lots of history attached to them. Like say this antique below which am pretty sure I have seen in some homes here in Zambia, could just be a chair…..but this chair was a state chair used in the 17th century and made In India in a Portuguese style.
It was used by the last up holders of independence who was the Sheik of Siyu (Bwana Mataka Bin Mubarak Al- famau) and his son Sheik Muhammed. ‘Siyu’ is a location in Kenya and ”Sheikh” was in the Arabic sense an elderly man with a position of leadership and yes, that is a full name. Cool chair!
‘‘You know what? This treasure chest looks like my jewellery box back home……,” I thought to myself as I continued to explore Fort Jesus museum. It was a Persian chest dating as far back as the 13th century. Like wow! Hopefully it continues to be preserved in many more years.
I looked ahead and noticed some place near the left side of the museum as you get in. The label Mombasa Wreck Excavation caught my attention but what was this place trying to showcase?
All I saw was some structure that looked like a diver. It sounds like divers find really cool stuff under water, huh….? This local diver must have been doing his own thing when he ”bang!”found some ship of 38 metres going by a cool name Santo Antonio de Tanna. His adventure (thanks to him) has led many to learn about this ship that sunk and some man going by the name of Dr James Kirkman directed a small excavation which later on led to a survey done on the wreck site. Cool stuff if you ask me.
Time was running out and I had to be out of this place so in wanting to do a quick exit, I bumped into some cool structures of what I think were figures of Arab ,Portuguese or Indian people because of the kind of dressing. For these ones, all I wanted was to stand next to them.
Whales! Ever seen a 48 foot long creature? Maybe you have but I haven’t. It’s good I saw the remains because imagining one in motion will take up lots of my energy.
So basically you will find a skeleton of a humpback whale on display here, the remains of a Portuguese sailor, some cool old Mombasa doors which remind me of Zanzibarian doors and something that looked like it was a make believe human thing to be placed in a corn field to chase away unwanted ‘visitors’ from the field.
What can I say except another visit is in order so that I get to read in detail what I couldn’t because of rushing to leave. Do try this place out by all means.