The Kabarnet Museum is located in Kabarnet town, directly across from Visa Oshwal Primary School. It is located in Baringo County, roughly 265 kilometers northwest of Nairobi County.
The town is named after a French missionary named Barnet from Alsace. The region’s inhabitants are Tugen, a sub-tribe of the larger Kalenjn community. In their language, they added the prefix ‘ka,’ which means “homestead,” making Kabarnet – Barnet’s homestead. Since 1907, when the colonial government made it the seat of the local government, it has served as the administrative headquarters for the Baringo district.
The Kabarnet Museum was the first in the Rift Valley’s core region. It first became accessible to the public in 1996. The museum is housed in the former Colonial and African District Commissioner’s office, which was built by Italian POWs in 1930 and is regarded to be the first permanent building in Baringo District. The museum’s exhibitions include ethnographic cultural materials from the Rift Valley people – the Keiyo, Marakwet, Samburu, Pokot, Nandi, and Kipsigis – as well as an overview of the district’s history from pre-colonial, colonial, and post-independence eras. On the museum grounds, visitors can watch many bird species in their natural environment thanks to a variety of tree varieties.
Functions of the museum
Kabarnet Museum’s functions include;
- Heritage promotion, collection, and documentation through Natural History and Cultural/History/Musicological collections.
- In partnership with other research and development institutes, conducts cultural and natural history research in a variety of subjects, as well as biomedical and bio-conservation research.
- To preserve/conserve all of its collections, both physical and intangible, moveable and immovable, in-situ and ex-situ.
- To disseminate knowledge derived from research and collections and offer it to the public for the objective of increasing public awareness and learning through exhibitions, education programs, and other multimedia channels.
- Tugen, Ilchamus, Pokot, and Keiyo communities’ cultural exhibitions
- Reptiles on display include Nile crocodiles, tortoises, and snakes.
- Children’s playground featuring swings and slides where kids may have fun, spend their leisure time, and learn crucial skills.
- Visitors watch films and displays of thematic exhibitions about culture, environment, wildlife, and so on in the Education Hall, which is filled with instructional materials.