The National Museum in Dar es Salaam opened in 1940 next to the Botanical Gardens. A new wing was built in front of the old museum in 1963. The museum originally opened in the King George V Memorial Museum, the new wing has his car on display.
The Hall of Man contains archeological finds, replicas of rock paintings and a cast of 3.6 million-year-old hominid footprint. The History Gallery, located on the first floor, covers the Kilwa period (9th – 15th C), the (English and German) colonial period, the slave trade, local rebellions, and Independence. The colonial years and anti-colonial struggle are presented through a display of objects, photos and documents. The section on Coastal history features glazed Chinese pottery and copper… More > coins from Kilwa.
Ethnographic displays include traditional crafts, head dresses, ornaments and musical instruments. Hunting and gathering, initiation rites, traditional healing and witchcraft are a few other themes; also on view are leather and bark clothing, and a wooden bicycle in working order.
The garden area of the National Museum, home to several peacocks, has a sculpture dedicated to the twelve Tanzanians who died in the bombing of the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam. The sculpture, created by Elyn Zimmerman, consists of six geometric forms surrounding a granite-rimmed pool.