Somali Culture Series to Be Held at Four Area History Museums
Sharing culture, art and history is a great way to build understanding and empathy across cultures. Central Minnesota is home to a large segment of the Somali diaspora, and the Somali people have a rich cultural heritage to share with area residents.
“The Somali Museum of Minnesota – Exploring History and Culture in Central MN” is an event series that will bring programming from The Somali Museum of Minnesota to four county historical societies in central Minnesota – Morrison, Sherburne, Benton, and Stearns. The event series, which takes place on the four Saturdays in February 2019, will share Somali culture and heritage with Somali and non-Somali residents. Each site will feature a different arts program. Habso J. Mohamud, Somali American author of “The Story of Nasra,” will appear at all four events to discuss and sign copies of her book.
The Somali Kebed Weaving program will take place at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, home of the Morrison County Historical Society, on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 2 p.m. The weaving program is an immersive cultural arts class that teaches participants the basics of a traditional Somali art form. Somali nomads use this art form to weave mats by hand with no loom or frame to cover their homes. Event attendees will learn the weaving method directly from native Somali weavers. An interpreter will be on-site to provide interpretation as needed.
The three other programs in the series take place on the following consecutive Saturdays in February. The Sherburne County Historical Society will host a Somali Culture 101 lecture covering various aspects of Somali culture and tradition and the rich heritage of Minnesota’s Somali community. This event will take place on February 9, 2019, at 2 p.m.
The Benton County Historical Society will host a Somali Mobile Culture Show on February 16, 2019, at 2 p.m. The mobile culture show consists of 20-30 artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection with a “petting zoo” selection of objects available to touch.
The Stearns History Museum will host the Somali Museum Dance Troupe on February 23, 2019, at 2 p.m. The dance troupe is comprised of teens and young adults from the greater Twin Cities area who study and perform traditional dances from all regions in Somalia.
The Somali Museum of Minnesota was founded in 2011 as North America’s first and only museum devoted to Somali culture. It is currently the only known museum of Somali culture in the world. Its mission is to provide an opportunity for Minnesotans of all backgrounds to encounter and learn about Somali traditional culture.
All four events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Morrison County Historical Society at 320-632-4007, the Benton County Historical Society at 320-253-9614, the Sherburne County Historical Society at 763-261-4433, or the Stearns History Museum at 320-253-8424.