Oron museum is a unique representation of the ethnocultural riches of Nigeria. Situated in Oron just opposite the Oron river, the museum was established in 1958 to accommodate eight hundred known ancestral figurines (Ekpu) of the Oron people which are believed to be one of the oldest and finest surviving wood carvings in Africa.

History of Oron Museum

The ancestral figurines referred to as Ekpu by the Oron natives date as far back as the early 19th century. It was all a process whereby an esteemed Oron leader was elevated to ancestral status. The wood sculptures were invoked to play an essential role in assuring the well-being of their offspring. They were seen as protectors and the museum was built to house these precious mini gods

Unfortunately, during the civil war, the museum was looted and many of the figurines were missing. However, in 1975, Oron museum was reconstructed with the help of British anthropologist Keith Nicklin whose statue is at the entrance of the museum. Today, Oron museum houses the remains of the wooden sculptures and other ethnographic materials from across Nigeria.

Apart from the Ekpu carvings, Oron museum is also the home of unique skin-covered and horned head masks; the powerful Obasi Njom masquerade from upper Cross River area, old manilla currency, water spirit masquerade relics, traditional raffia and metal works, the traditional pottery. Also, bunkers used during the civil war are on display. These artworks and materials of antiquity inspire your imaginations and give you a bit of connection to the Oron culture, the tour guides are good and very knowledgeable narrators, they bring the artworks to life with their excellent storytelling abilities.

Within the premises of the museum is a crafts village. On the site of Oron museum are two de-commissioned oil wells which means the museum grounds were once oil-rich. The Oron museum complemented by the free-flowing waters of the Oron river bank is an impeccable combination. Go with friends and family and appreciate the cultural and historical riches of Uyo city.

How to get to Oron Museum?

The closest airport to Oron Museum is Akwa Ibom International Airport. Moving from the Airport to Oron Museum Airport is 45minutes over a distance of 37.2 km. More so, commercial buses are available in Oron to convey tourists to the museum location.

Things to do at Oron museum

Contrary to popular opinions that there isn’t a lot to do at museums, Oron museum doesn’t fit into that space as there are a handful of activities to engage in including:

  • Taking a look at some of the last surviving figurines and other relics
  • Engaging yourself at the crafts village by observing the locals
  • Relaxing at the Oron river waterfront after your museum tour

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