This museum is the only museum of its kind in China and seeks to demonstrate to students and visitors the rich cultural heritage of the African continent, as well as sustained links between Africa and China.
China seems an unlikely place, but located in a sleepy tree-lined section of campus, Zhejiang Normal University’s Institute of African Studies is the first of its kind in the country. The institute has developed over the course of a decade to teach courses related to economic development to Chinese students, and also to the international students. Of the several thousand international students on campus, many are from different African countries. More than 300 students are from Cameroon alone.
To celebrate African cultures from across the continent, the institute developed a museum in 2010. Museum exhibits display historical artifacts and informative interpretive signage describing the significance of African culture, though the museum does often generalize certain practices to be within all of African culture. Museum exhibits include displays on musical instruments, sculptures, household items, masks, costumes, general history and future prospects, and continental ties with China.
Though no other museum like this exists in China, Senegal recently unveiled a sprawling China-funded museum of African cultures, demonstrating the links are still strong.
Know Before You Go
The museum is regularly open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.