Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sabah Museum provides glimpses of Sabah’s past

A museum is not just a building that keeps old things and artefacts. It is also an institution that preserves a country’s heritage for its future generations.

Creating its own history, the Sabah Museum has existed since 1886. It first started in a room in the Chartered Company’s Secretariat in Sandakan. Through the years that followed it has been relocated to a few places, including an upper floor of the Nosmal Court building opposite the old General Post Office on Gaya Street in Kota Kinabalu before moving to its present permanent Sabah Museum building on Penampang Road.

The Museum was officially declared open by His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on 11 April 1984.

The Sabah Museum complex comprising the main building, the Science and Technology Centre, the Heritage Village, Ethno-Botanical Garden and the Sabah Islamic Civilization Museum.

This year the Sabah Museum celebrates its 48th anniversary and some of its galleries have been upgraded to mark the occasion. The upgraded galleries were the history, archaeology and culture sections, while the new additions were the Head-hunting Gallery and the traditional musical instruments studio.

The history gallery displays some  historical artefacts and the general maritime history of Sabah including periods before and after the Chartered Company Rule, the Second World War, the colonial period, Sabah's independence and the subsequent  formation of Malaysia.

The new addition is the head-hunting gallery. Head-hunting among the Kadazandusun communities was a common practice in the old days. It was thought that the collection of enemy heads was a heroic thing to do and a sign of bravery.

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