Taipa Houses Museum

The Macau Special Administration Region (or SAR), is composed of Peninsula Macau, with its famous Ah-Ma Temple, Portuguese baroque churches cobblestone streets and older casinos. This peninsula with its Barrier Gate was the traditional gateway into and from China for much of the 20th century. South of the peninsula was the island of Taipa, now joined by infill with the island of Coloane. This island was regarded as an extension of peninsula Macau by the Portuguese, but they did little to consolidate it until the 19th century when a series of events forced them to establish a legitimate and physical presence in 1851. They built a Catholic church in 1885 and established an administrative centre at an old fishing village with jurisdiction over the two islands.

In 1921 the Portuguese built five houses along the shoreline for senior civil servants, who were mainly Macanese. The shoreline now borders a lake. The five houses along with the nearby church were acknowledged as being of architectural value in 1992 and in 1999 were opened to the public as a museum. The houses are; a “Macanese Living Museum”, “Exhibition Gallery”, “Creative Casa”, “Nostalgic House” and a “House for receptions”. As a result, the houses also showcase the unique Macanese culture that is built upon its mixed Chinese, Portuguese and other cultures (e.g. African, Southeast Asian and South Asian) that were connected by the Portuguese Empire. The Exhibition Gallery changes its exhibits regularly.

This is a great starting point from which to explore the fast disappearing world of the Macanese as a unique cultural group that exists in Hong Kong, Portugal, the USA, Canada and Australia.

Museum Information: https://www.taipavillagemacau.com/directory/taipa-houses-museum/

Location: Avenida da Praia, Taipa Old Town, Taipa, Macau SAR. China.

Admission: Free

Opening Hours: 10:00am-6:30pm Tuesday-Sunday, Closed on Mondays.

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Clifford Pereira FRGS

Hailing from Mombasa, Kenya. Cliff's research interests began in 1982 when he first travelled Asia following the routes of the epic voyages of the Fifteenth century Chinese admiral Zheng He. He later graduated with a BA(Hons) in Geography with Asian Studies (Ulster University). After a career in tourism Cliff became a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). He returned to historical research in 2001 on a variety of themes leading to an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society on the Bombay Africans (2007) and is regarded as the world specialist on the subject. Cliff was Honorary Research Assistant to Royal Holloway's Geography Department (2011-2014) and Visiting Research Assistant to Dalian Maritime University, China (2011-2015). Cliff was researcher-curator on the Bait-Jelmood Museum, Qatar (2013-2016) and research-curator for the National Museum of Qatar, specialising in the Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean (2016-2018). Cliff was Visiting Research Assistant at the University of Hong Kong (2016-2023). He completed a MA(Res) on the History of Africa and the African Diaspora (University of Chichester) with distinction in 2021. He is presently distance-working on the African collection of the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC Vancouver, Canada and continues to research and consult for a number of UK heritage institutions. He describes himself as a historical geographer and has been a speaker on various subjects in China, Malaysia, Canada, USA, South Africa, Italy, the UK and on the cruise liners Silversea and Swan Hellenic. He has numerous papers and chapters in publications around the world.