The Iringa Boma museum consists of five rooms, each covering specific aspects of Iringa Region:
Room 1 – History of Iringa
This exhibit introduces the visitor the eventful history of Iringa Region and its most famous resident, Chifu Mkwawa of the Hehe people.
Iringa Town was established as a military base called ‘New Iringa’ in 1896 by the German colonizers following their defeat at Lugalo 1891 at the hands of Chief Mkwawa and the subsequent destruction of his Hehe stronghold in 1894. The first residents of Iringa Town were African Askari troops, who fought on behalf of German East Africa, and their families.
Iringa fell to the British in 1916 during World War I. Under British rule, Iringa slowly grew as a favourable location for trade and commerce. The process was supported by the arrival of Indian and Arab entrepreneurs, and Greek farmers who came to grow tobacco. They employed Kinga people from further South to work on their fields who eventually started their own business in Iringa Town.
Room 2 – Worship & Healing in Iringa
In this room you will encounter exciting exhibitions which provide diverse insights into the cultural life and landscape of the Southern Highlands.
The current exhibit in the room is about the work of healers in Iringa Region. Between June 2011 and October 2013 Social Anthropologist Dr. Gundula Fischer conducted field research in the Iringa region, interviewing over 30 healers and observing their healing practices. Healers in Iringa are an important aspect of social life, and can be herbalists or diviners. Healers make a diagnosis of their patients condition and prescribe medicines, where as diviners combine divination with various therapies to invoke ancestors to assist in problems a person may be having. The exhibit is supplemented by photography from Sasja van Vechgel.
Room 3 – Cultures of Iringa
This room is there to preserve and celebrate the living cultural heritage of Iringa in all its facets. The objects displayed have all been donated by people living in Iringa Region. They originate from different villages, ethnic groups and communities. Most of the objects relate to traditional ways of life that are slowly disappearing.
Here you will find out more about traditional ways of harvesting, storing, preparing and eating food in Iringa. The collected objects will also tell you stories about music, dance, ritual, travel, trade and many other subjects.
Room 4 – Interactives
- Try to grind maize to flour in a massive mortar
- Learn to wear traditional Iringa clothing styles
- Take a picture of yourself in Hehe garment
Room 5 – Explore Iringa Region
Iringa Region is full of cultural and natural wonders to explore. This room is there for you to learn which interesting sites to visit after leaving the museum:
- Discover archaeological sites with stone age tools and pre-historic rock art
- Follow Chief Mkwawa’s footsteps to fully understand the history of the Hehe and their resistance to colonial invasion
- Trace the growth of Iringa Town from the colonial past over independence struggle until today’s global influences
- Enjoy the beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife of the South through a visit to Ruaha National Park
New Exhibition Opening “Human Evolution”
05. Dec 2020