Somali Object Journeys
The first Object Journeys project at the British Museum has been a partnership with a core group of eight London-based Somali adults. The group is interested in Somali heritage and working with the Museum to enable greater access to its historic Somali collection.
They saw this project as an opportunity to promote and showcase aspects of Somali culture that might otherwise be unfamiliar to the public. Through new and existing partnerships the project has also been working in a lighter-touch way with wider members of the London Somali community.
Throughout the project, the core group worked collaboratively with British Museum staff to investigate and explore the Somali object collection and photography archive collection. Through research and discussion with wider members of the London Somali community the group decided on a theme they felt would highlight an important element of Somali culture, chose a selection of objects and worked together to interpret these objects in a display in the British Museum’s Wellcome Trust Gallery (Room 24). The group is also working with the Museum to co-curate a season of Somali cultural themed events for Museum visitors.
There aren’t many women displayed on international currencies, especially normal women making a simple living from basket weaving, so how did hoyoo Hawo appear on the Somali one thousand shilling note?
On the evening of Friday 7th October 2016, the Somali Object Journeys project hosted a performance-filled event to celebrate the new Somali display case in the British Museum’s Wellcome Gallery. The display case, Objects of Survival: the Beauty of Somali Craftwork, is...
Leyla Bile, talks about her understanding of the Somali incense burner.
On the 12th November 2016, the Somali Object Journeys project hosted a family day to celebrate the new Somali display case in The British Museum’s Wellcome Gallery. Opened in early October the...
Archive images display
How it ended its journey at the British Museum in London
by Abukar Elmi
A sample of the wonderful photographs from the Powell-Cotton Somali collection
Somali archive images
Somali Incense Burner
A Somali carved wooden headrest or Barkin/Barjin.