Vietnam Museum of Ethnology displays the multi-ethnic culture

Published:  15:08 Tuesday - December 13, 2011 A large and modern museum detailing the more than fifty different ethnic groups of modern Vietnam.

Don't miss this museum while you are in Hanoi! It would be wise to dedicate a whole day to this museum, or at least a full afternoon.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country, which is composed of 54 ethnic groups. Perceiving the importance of having an ethnographic museum to preserve and present the cultural heritages of ethnic groups, the Government decided to establish a museum of ethnology in Hanoi. 

The Museum is located in a large open area on Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, about 8 km from the city centre. This area used to be paddy field of the local people. During the construction of the Museum, all of the infrastructure was built, including the 700m road from Hoang Quoc Viet Street to the entrance of the Museum.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a valuable centre for the exhibition and the preservation of cultural heritages of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. To date, the Museum has collected 15,000 artefacts, 2,190 slides, 42,000 photographs, 237 audiotapes, 373 videotapes and 25 CD-ROMs. It is also a centre for ethnographic research employing many experts on the different ethnic groups. People come to the Museum just not to visit or entertain, but also to learn about these ethnic groups, their cultural diversity and the uniqueness of each group and region, as well as traditional values throughout the Vietnamese country. For this reason, national and international visitors, children and students, professionals and non-professionals are attracted to the Museum.

The artefacts of the Museum are not only priceless antiquities, but many are everyday objects, such as knives, baskets, garments, flutes, pipes and mats. These objects reflect tangible and intangible cultural heritages of the communities, representing lives and creative activities of the people. Thus, artefacts of the Museum are so varied that they are organised into different collections.

The Museum has 54 collections of each individual ethnic group. Functionally classified, there are collections of clothing, jewellery, of agricultural tools, fishing instruments, weapons, household utensils and musical instruments. In addition, there are collections of artefacts related to the various religions, beliefs, wedding ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and other social and spiritual activities. Based on the specific collections, the Museum organises exhibitions and publishes books and catalogues in different formats in order to meet the needs of various audiences of different backgrounds.

The outdoor exhibition area is large enough for the most popular architectural styles to be represented. Already presented are the Ede long house, the Tay stilt house, the Yao house half on stilts, half on earth, the Hmong house whose roof is made of pomu wood, the Viet house with tile roof and the Giarai tomb..

The museum also occasionally has special events running, so if your visit coincides with one of these, its an even better visit. It's also possible to catch a free Water Puppet show behind the main building amongst the reconstructed houses.  You will discover many things about Vietnamese culture here./.

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