Abomey Museum reserves:
The Abomey Historical Museum contains 1,050 objects representing principally the property of the kings who reigned over Danhomè.
The collections are made up of arms,
thrones carved in one block of wood (each king had one or several thrones which he used during important ceremonies),
jewellery, portable altars in metal ("assin") dedicated to ancestors or deceased kings whose spirits they represent, and sculptured animals symbolising the kings. They also contain appliquéd cloths recounting events, royal emblems and insignia, musical instruments, photos of important events and ceremonies, objects imported from Europe given to the kings and about 50 old bas-reliefs which have been restored and are exhibited in the Museum.
Most of the objects were previously used in various ceremonies. They continue to be functional today and are employed by the royal families in the same way.
Reorganised as part of the Prevention in Museums of Africa programme (PREMA) of the International Centre for the Study for the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM), the first part of the Museum's permanent exhibition was opened to the public in September 1997.
Made up of the royal objects, the exhibition reflects life at court. It is articulated round a number of topics such as the origin and development of the kingdom, social organisation, military life, royal objects and insignia, bas-reliefs, religion, etc.
The second part of the exhibition which occupies King Guézo's ajalala and zinkpoho is devoted to two main themes: every day life (agriculture, arts and crafts, trade, religion...) and the causes of the decline of the Abomey kingdom (different political treaties, the fall and exile of King Gbéhanzin, the rise and fall of King Agoli Agbo, the royal families today...).