Henriette-Bathily Women’s Museum, Dakar, Senegal 

The Henriette-Bathily Women’s Museum is a museum which was located on Gorée, an island on the coast of Senegal, across from the House of Slaves. Since May 2015, it is now located in Dakar, at the Place du Souvenir Africain et de la Diaspora. A project conceived in 1987 by the filmmaker Ousmane William Mbaye, it was opened in 1994 under the direction of Annette Mbaye d’Erneville.

There were two levels within this colonial residence, built in 1777 during the French colonial period, having belonged to a wealthy signare, Victoria Albis. Until 1962, it was the property of the Angrand family, notably Armand-Pierre Angrand, a descendant of the signare, writer, a mayor of Gorée and the first mayor of colour of Dakar in 1936.

Museum exhibits include common objects from the colonial period, farming tools, musical instruments, pottery, basketry, as well as photographs allowing a better understanding of the daily life of women in the country. The prominent figures of Senegalese women’s emancipation are celebrated, for example the novelist Aminata Sow Fall. The building was also previously a courthouse, then the Museum of the Institut fondamental d’Afrique noire which was succeeded in 1966 by Institut Français d’Afrique Noire.

Epic Senegal Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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