Museum of Ethnology--page one (of 5 pages)








The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology preserves documents and objects in an effort to conserve the cultural heritage of various Vietnamese ethnic groups. According to its mission, it "showcases the lives, cultural activities, and identities of Vietnam's 54 ethnic communities" (official catalog 6). The museum, which serves as a research center as well, has collected more than 25,0000 objects from among the peoples of Vietnam. The following pages picture some of these objects. Since I am not an expert in this field, the labeling is not guaranteed to be accurate. If you are aware of errors, please contact me at the address below.

Views of the museum courtyard and the central hall

 

Model of stilt house

This model was not labelled in the museum. It may be a generic stilt house or it could be an example of the kind of house members of the Tay-Thai group live in.
 

Giarai Tomb

This tomb, set up on the museum grounds, is a communal tomb for members of the same matriarchal family. According to Giarai customs, "a dead man must be buried at his mother's grave. In the common tomb, coffins are arranged one on the top of the other across, and then down alternatively" (Huy 69). These tombs are ornamented with funerary sculpture. These peoples are one of the earliest groups settled in the central highlands, which extends into Cambodia.
 
 

Funerary statues, disassociated from their communal tomb




Continue to page 2.

Works Cited:
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. [official guidebook] Hanoi, n. d.
Nguyen Van Huy. The Cultural Mosaic of Ethnic Groups in Vietnam. Hanoi: Education Publishing House, n. d.


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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

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