National Museum


The National Museum is housed in a forty-year-old building built by Chinese cooperation. This building is housing the Mauritanian Institute of Scientific Research, the Mauritanian Manuscripts Conservation Center and the National Library.

The museum displays us, beyond the showcases, what were the living conditions of the populations who lived in the country for millennia, through the exhibition of miniatures and objects of everyday life and tools and pictures taken during excavations. The latter were mainly carried out in Koumbi Saleh, the former capital of the Ghana Empire, in Aoudaghost, the main trading post on the caravan route for more than five centuries, and in Azougui, the former capital of the Almoravids. Some of these objects, fortuitously found by Mauritanians, have been brought to the museum, demonstrating the respect they have for their heritage.

The main door leads to a well-equipped room offering a modern learning environment for different segments of the local community and all categories of visitors: children, families, researchers, specialists, etc. The Museum also aims to strengthen the educational and cultural mission by contributing to the collection of art paintings.

In the waiting room, there are showcases. Inside one of them works of the great scholar Mohamed Salem ould Adoud are exhibited. Nearby, some instruments of music, as well as a statue of a married woman, of a dazzling beauty, wearing a black veil called Nîla. Inside, some rare masterpieces of sculptures, some paintings and everything related to cultural heritage. This room houses most often scientific works, works of art, manuscripts of religious sciences like the treaties of Khalil and its commentaries, the Islamic conquests (El Bedoui)...

Hollow and polished stones of old models serving as schoolboys' inkwell. Similarly, the museum provides information to researchers, students and others. Ahmed Salem, an old man who often comes to visit the museum says: "this place serves as a cultural center and is a mirror of the society; it reflects the influence of our history before and after independence".

The museum also focuses on highlighting the specificities of each region of the country, thanks to a variety of exhibitions that reflect the overall context of the country's history and highlight its geographical and cultural unity.

Among the precious exhibits are: a chain mail found in the region of Koumbi Saleh, potteries of the region of Mederdra, jars of Tegdaouest, (discovered during the excavations led by Koltermann  in 1998, on the site of the fort d’Arguin). Also in the showroom, are exhibited the photos of the flood occurred in 1932 in Nouakchott and of a necropolis of the Ain en Nouss.

The men buried in the necropolis dated 3 965 BP wore pearls necklaces of Andara or stone, and were accompanied by numerous and rich pottery of various traditions, millstones, wheels and tiny arrow heads.


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