Gitega National Museum was established in 1955 and is located in Gitega, a vast city just a few kilometres in the East of Bujumbura the capital city of Burundi with various collections of musical instruments, weapons, as well as witchcraft tools. It includes the Musée Vivant which was founded in 1977 in Bujumbura and this comprises of a reptile house, an aquarium, aviary, open-air theatre and botanical gardens. While here, you will view the photographs of Burundi’s monarchies and learn about their modern struggles with the ethnic wars as well as the Genocide. The outside part is not very attractive, and, the aesthetics are not great in general although the content and information you will get here is very relevant and legendary. There are various Karyenda royal drum sanctuaries in the area as well as the Ibwami (royal court) in the area.
Discover the rich tapestry of Burundian culture and history at the National Museum of Gitega (Musée National de Gitega). As the national museum of Burundi, this institution stands in the city of Gitega, preserving the remnants of the nation’s cultural past since its foundation in 1955 under Belgian colonial rule.
The museum boasts a diverse collection of ethnographic and historical objects, all originating from within the country. Notably, it houses artefacts from the court of the Burundian monarchs, offering visitors a rare peek into the royal life of the past.
Preserving the Gems of Burundian Folk Culture
Conceived by the Belgian rulers in 1955, the museum was initiated with the aim of safeguarding the artefacts of Burundian folk culture. At a time when modernization and social change were steadily eroding the traditional ways of life, the museum emerged as a sanctuary for the country’s declining cultural treasures.
Despite its size, its collection is displayed in a single room. The National Museum of Gitega is the largest of Burundi’s public museums and attracts a number of visitors, averaging 20–50 per week as of the past 6 years.
Over the years, the museum has faced its share of challenges, with a lack of funds restricting its ability to make new acquisitions. Despite these hurdles, the museum has consistently focused on its mission of preserving and showcasing Burundian heritage.
In 2015, the museum reached a significant milestone with the publication of a catalogue of its collection, titled “Le Patrimoine Burundais: le Musée de Gitega.” Supported by the German Embassy in Burundi, this catalogue stands as a testament to the museum’s enduring commitment to preserving Burundi’s cultural heritage.