Akurmi People in Need of Musuem for their Artifacts
OPEN LETTER: THE NEED FOR AKURMI MUSEUM
To all Akurmi stakeholders,
Globalization is one reality that has come to stay; the world is fast integrating (politically, economically, socially and culturally) into a global village. This is why the rapid retrogression and going into extinction of cultures and civilizations that are weak is becoming ever evident. It is so as a result of the transfer of knowledge and culture especially through communication technology with little limitations. So far, this reality has shown for a fact that weaker cultures with feeble traditional institutions to sustain it are fast disappearing, only being remembered as part of our memory or imagination.
The fact that we must come to terms with is that the Akurmi culture and history is gradually falling victim of this invading phenomenon called globalization, if a decisive and expedient step is not taken to salvage it. Have we all really put into consideration the fact that the Akurmi people cannot boast of a comprehensive document that captures our objective history; through funded research of our cosmology or contemporary history. At this age and time we are still using as references information gotten from ancient anthropologist and history written for academic purposes (projects). Thank God groups like the Akurmi Studies group are intervening toward building and developing the Akurmi history and language.
Still yet if we are observant, it is vivid to note that the language is fast fading out, because the up-coming generation barely speak or understand the dialect. The most unfortunate part is that these youth are now getting into inter-marriages with other ethnic groups and are producing children who will have distant contact with the dialect. Of which if not addressed expediently, it will only be the nail to close the coffin of the dialect before burial.
Also worthy of note, is the widespread ignorance of our youth about their culture and history; this has made many of us become alien to the Akurmi identity. Due to the definite nature of death and the unreliability of aged memory (elders), the youth are being denied the opportunity to know and identify with their identity with the absence of a museum. The naked truth is that, if one does not know where one is coming from, surely one is lost to where he/she is, and to where one is headed to, going into the future. The above highlighted issues are what necessitated this write-up; in that light, below are some of the issues that should as a matter of patriotism draw the attention and consideration of all well-meaning Akurmi sons and daughters.
The need for a museum for the purpose of preserving the Akurmi culture and history cannot be overemphasized by any stretch of the imagination; this is so because it will only be a shame if we all allow the culture and history of a great people like ours to go into extinction. So, as defined by the Macmillan English dictionary, “a museum is a building where many valuable and important objects are kept so that people can go and see them”. With the preceding definition, it goes a long way to suggest that a Akurmi museum is needed in order to preserve the cultural artifacts and history of the existence of a great people over time, so that people (especially posterity) can come and see.
The establishment of Akurmi museum is a selfless service for posterity, because they will have the opportunity to have a close contact with their identity through visits to and research in the museum. As a result of the museum, they (posterity) will know where they are coming from, so it will give them a sense of pride in their identity, and will also provide them with the needed confidence to identify with their identity.
Furthermore, the museum will serve as a resource centre for research and references, where detailed information about the Akurmi people can be accessed. With time, the museum will attract scholars from all works of life. It will also afford young Akurmi men and women the opportunity for them to research into their history; this will ensure new discovery in both information and artifacts.
Indeed, Akurmi museum has now become a matter of urgency and necessity; it will only be pertinent to also consider the likely benefits of Akurmi museum.
1• First, it will surely afford posterity access to their history through artifacts and written works about their identity, thereby promoting high sense of pride and patriotism to the Akurmi nation.
2• Second, the museum will encourage research and writing, and the expansion of Akurmi history. This will be possible because the museum will provide the needed written references and artifacts; this will make the museum a resource centre for accessing factual information about the Akurmi people.
3• Third, the museum will serve as a tourist attraction for leisure-seekers and people who want to wet their appetite for historical centers. This will serve as a source of revenue for the Akurmi chiefdom; in addition, it will open the doors of the Akurmi people to both the public and private sectors, and the world at large.
The above points, are just a few among the direct benefit that the Akurmi people stand to gain, but in order not to over flog the benefits, it will be pertinent to also proffer some recommendations on how the Akurmi people can establish a museum for our heritage.
First and foremost, there is an urgent need to set up a high powered committee made up of academicians, traditional rulers, religious leaders and community based group’s leaders. They must be vast and knowledgeable about the Akurmi culture and history. This committee is to be broken down into sub-committees, who will be responsible for coming up with the design and detailed plans on how the museum will be structured in terms of the building, content, management and administration. After the detailed design, the committee is to organize a fundraiser, in order to mobilize the funds to embark on the belated project of building a befitting museum for a great people.
In this same line, a foundation or institute is to be established in order to promote research and writing on Akurmi culture and history. As stated earlier, the institute will be charged with the responsibility of mobilizing historical and cultural materials for research, documentation and other scholarly works to be kept in the museum.
In conclusion, it is the responsibility of all Akurmi sons and daughters, to ensure that the Akurmi culture and history does not go into extinction. This can only be achieved if we are able to mobilize the commitment of the people, their intellect, and the needed resources to accomplish this laudable project, for the common good of the community and posterity.
1. Yusuf Ishaku Goje for Akurmi Nations