Ngaren, The Museum of Humankind, will be the world’s first museum dedicated exclusively to
the story of humankind. It is an ambitious project spearheaded by renowned conservationist, paleoanthropologist and philanthropist, Richard E. Leakey. The museum will be located on a 300-acre parcel in Loodariak, which is south east of Nairobi in Kajiado County. The area, which is in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, is known for its savannah, geology, fauna and rich history as the cradle of human life. The museum site is about 60 kilometers, or a short drive, from Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. Loodariak is a rural area, with a population of about 10,000, who are mostly members of the Massai tribe.
Ngaren will tell of our unlikely but fascinating human journey, from today back to five million years ago, with its unexpected beginnings and many turns. It is the story of homo sapiens that has never been told in a museum in the detail it deserves. Telling this history where it took place, and where the entire theatre of humanity has played out, has a symbolic resonance. In this context, it is somewhat of a spiritual journey that will resonate with people and cultures across the world.
The museum is intended to be an educational and scientific experience for visitors, but it is also a cautionary tale. As our species pushes itself to the brink, as genomes and modern medicine begin to unravel our human existence, and as we witness our capacity for willful destruction of life, understanding our past will be critical to defining our possible future.