The museum is situated in the city of Harar, and houses cultural artifacts, materials, tools, manuscripts and music recordings. The collections are donations from the people of the Harar city and its environs and they represent the heritage of a variety of ethnic groups (Harari, Oromo, Amhara, Gurage, Somali and Argobba). The present stage of preservation and inventory has been achieved through the diligence and commitment of Harari individuals and both local and international organizations. The materials are housed in the previous residence of Ras Tafari, former Emperor of Ethiopia.
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