Moto Moto Museum

Moto Moto Museum


The History of Moto Moto Museum dates back to the 1950s when a French Canadian Catholic Priest Jean Jacques Corbeil of the White Fathers began collecting cultural artifacts in the Northern part of Northern Rhodesia (Now Zambia).

Father Corbeil came to Zambia as a missionary under the White Fathers in 1943. Other than missionary work, Father Corbeil was interested in African Culture and Environment.  Over the years he collected cultural and Natural Artifacts among the villages of Northern Zambia and later figurines along the Zambia Congo Boarder on the Copperbelt. He was particularly interested in items of music, medicine, initiation and witchcraft.  He also made a reasonable collection of snakes. The artifacts, collected for study and posterity by Father Cornbeil, were stored in the Mulilansolo Mission until 1964, when they were moved to Serenje, Zambia until 1969, then to Isoka.

The Moto Moto Museum was officially opened to the Public in 1974 and is housed on a former carpentry and bricklaying workshop, donated by the Diocese of Mbala in 1972.

The name “Moto Moto ” was derived from Bishop Joseph Dupont who smoked a pipe and called for “Moto” – fire in swahilili which earned him the name Moto Moto.  Bishop Adolf Furstenderg Bishop of Mbala Diocese donated the present day main gallery which houses the Ethnography gallery which was previously a carpenter workshop.

The museum is currently part of the National Museums Board.


  • James Gavin
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