This small collection brings together materials of many different types from Congo collected by Emilio Piola, a Parma soldier, a few years later Vittorio Bottego’s expeditions. On display are mainly ethnological exhibits; among them weapons, farming tools, stringed instruments are particularly interesting.

The Piola collection also deals with a few animal specimens from Central  Africa: special strength of the collection is the couple of okapis (Okapia johnstoni),  which are related to giraffes. This huge  animal lives in the thick rainforest of Central Africa, so that it has kept its neck short. The two specimens were possibly the first to be brought back to Italy.

Strange and unusual are some sunbirds on display. They are small birds which can be considered as the African version of the hummingbirds. These sunbirds are conserved with a “dry” technique, this means that their bodies are preserved intact, not stuffed.

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