Dr. Valence Valerian Silayo: Gerda Henkel Fellow

Dr. Valence Valerian Silayo is a Gerda Henkel Fellow at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart for two years (2023–2025). His research interests focus on the cultural heritage of the Chagga, who live in present-day Tanzania on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The collections from the Chagga region entered the Linden Museum’s holdings during the German colonial period and are now being systematically analysed by Dr. Silayo. The project focuses on the cultural history, the significance and use of the objects in their societies at the turn to the 20th century, their significance for today’s society and the context in which the objects were collected.

Dr. Valence Valerian Silayo is a lecturer in history, archaeology and heritage conservation at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His research interests include various aspects of African archaeology, pre-colonial defence systems, socio-political structures, social complexity, the analysis of pre-colonial material culture, restitution and reparation, and the management of communal heritage. For many years, his research has illuminated the rich history, complexity and heritage of African societies, placing the knowledge of communities of origin at the centre of his research. His research in the archaeology and the management of cultural heritage in the Kilimanjaro region represents an important contribution to understanding the past and the present of its inhabitants.

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