Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology



The enterance of museum main building
Vietnam Museum of ethnology is one of the most interesting museum to visit in Hanoi and in Vietnam which is exhibit around 54 ethnic group who live in Vietnam and also show about Southeast Asia. It is located in Nguyen Van Huyen Road, Cau Giay Distric, Hanoi or about 8km from the Hanoi city centre. It’s easy to get there by public transport (bus) or take a taxi ride. The museum has opening hour from 08.30 – 17.30 and closed on Mondays and during the Tet Holiday. The entrance fee for this museum is 40.000 vnd (about 2 USD).

This museum is divided into 3 sections, 2 indoors and 1 outdoor section. The main area indoor section is about ethnic groups in Vietnam. The 2nd indoor area is about Southeast Asia culture. And in the outdoor section, there is the open air-exhibition which is displayed some houses from different ethnic groups in Vietnam.  In the left side of the main entrance, there is museum shop which offers a wide variety of craft items, souvenirs etc. Book store also could be found in this museum, it’s located in the right side of the main entrance which offers books, exhibit catalogues, posters and some publications of the museum to explore more about the culture, history of Vietnam especially about the ethnic group. There is organized regularly craft performance and or show, such us water puppet show. Other services provided in this museum are multimedia documentation centre, auditorium and conference centre, Hoa Sua restaurant and Helio café. The Museum is disadvantaged friendly because has handicap access. This museum offers the guided tours as well and it’s available with English, French and Vietnamese speaking guides so it helps to explain more about the museum subjects.

Muong funeral display
Started with the main area indoor section, it has 2 floors level. In the lower level, next to the main door where is the information provide the brochure about the museum exhibition could be found. Walk around in the lower level (1st floor) to the left is welcoming and introduction, display photos of some Vietnamese from different ethnic group (54 ethnic group, the viet (Kinh)  and 53 minority groups) which is diverse into 5 linguistic families. The next area is displaying the daily life in agriculture and fishing, show the bike which carrying loads of the fish traps. The children traditional games has many different variant as well, its divided for boy and girl games. the religion of four world which is popular in north Vietnam exhibit here, explain the spiritual possession of ceremony. The displays also showing the rich culture of handicraft, art and tradition of Viet such us the performance art “water puppet”, woodblock picture, lacquer work, wood carving and engraving, ceramic craft, bronze work also culture to put altar to ancestors in every house. The most fascinating for me in this section is the Muong funeral, the role of the ritual master is consoling the dead, guiding them to come towards their ancestors and officiating a great number of rites. The funeral traditionally lasted for twelve days, however nowadays its held for maximum of two days which is several ritual are shortened but the important rituals are still observed.

Museum Display in the upper level
In the upper level, straight go to the right and found the miniature of Tay house. Then next following is stilt house from the black Thai ethnic, its recognized by the turtle shell shape roof, inside of this stilt house also shown some stuffs and daily life from The Nung, The White Thai, The Lao and Lu, The Sanchay, Giay and Bo Y ethnic group. Out of the stilt house, displayed ritual tree of the Thai. Its interesting subject when Thai gravely ill people who have been treated by ritual specialist (me mot or mother mot) are regarded their adopted children and the sprouts of their protective spirits. Every 2 or 3 year after the first thunderclaps signal the onset of the rains, the me mot organize a xen lau no ritual festival. They prepare and decorate the ritual tree then the villagers sing, dance and play music, it represent thunder and other natural phenomena and the hopes of villagers for rain and an abundant harvest. The exhibition in this floor also display many different garment, costume for different occasion, textile production, ornament and art, ritual stuffs, daily life tools and utensils such us hunting and fishing, architecture, musical instrument, tradition from each ethnic group Thai, Kadai, Hmong, Yao, Sino, Khmer etc.

Batik Display including tools
Ankle Ring, Malaysia
The 2nd section is the Southeast Asia culture, its located in the right side of the main museum building. From the building entrance, there is the information centre where the brochure about this section could be found so it can be a little guide about what are included here. When entering the main room in this building, it started with the introduction “Southeast Asia Diversity and Unity”. In this area displaying some textile such us double ikat (Men’s Hip or shoulder sloth) from Sumba Indonesia, Women’s skirt with metal threads and embroidery from Bima Indonesia, Bride’s dress from cotton with gold thread embroidery from Abung Sumatra Indonesia and some more others ethnic textile, hat, jacket, some costumes from Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, China and Philippines which are coming from 20th century. Continue to the next area, find more different textiles, including the weaving tools, Loom from Miao, South China, weaving, brocade, embroidery, ikat etc. The supplementary weft patterns is one of the technic which is used to produce beautiful fabric by inserting extra or supplemental welt yarn into a pattern when weaving. Pandanus and banana fibers are common to use to make the textile, the process are stripped the leaves into small fibers then dried and spun into yarns for weaving, it can be prepared by a technique of reserve dyeing to different colour to produce ikat. Another textile displayed here is batik, including the batik textile, material, tools and some short step how to make the batik itself. This technique use ”canting” (bent copper nibbed pen) to create pattern on fabrics by dipped in melted wax then paint it to the fabric. It’s later dyed-typically, indigo, and then dipped into hot water or scrapped to remove the wax. The garment from different culture and occasion also exhibit in the other section as well. The following path is area about daily life, here is more showing about house architecture style and material what each culture used. Rice and agriculture which is the main component meal in Southeast Asia. Handicraft which has amazing, beautiful and unique design are created from many different material including jewellery. Betel chewing is part of this daily life, betel set are include a betel cutter, a lime pot and betel box or tray. 
The next section is social life culture around Southeast Asia, how the rich culture of each ethnic group shown when they have tradition and ritual such us marriage and funeral (burial and cremation) including costume, ritual and the tradition itself. Performance art also take important place in culture diversity, in this section shown many kind entertainment from each culture such us the shadow puppet from Indonesia, the string puppet of Myanmar, Pin peat orchestra from Cambodia etc. The last section is religion where in this area display many different believe which follow and influence to the daily life of each culture.



Giarai Tomb
The last section is the open-air exhibition which is displaying the houses sample from different ethnic group in Vietnam. It’s shown how the house looks like from interior and exterior, the material used, construction, architecture and style. Hani house, Yao house, Hmong house, Tay house, Viet house and many other houses are exhibit in this section. One of the spectacular is the Bahnar communal house with a height of 19 metres which is the symbol of skill, strength of the villagers especially the power of men. The other interesting house is Giarai tomb. The large wooden figures encircling the tomb are intended to accompany the dead into the afterlife. Sexually explicit carvings and those of pregnant women are symbols of fertility.


This museum is a place worth to visit while in Hanoi. It build the feeling that the visitor has been get through whole Vietnam from the north to south to see all the different ethnic group and culture. The visitor could enjoy the atmosphere of the culture and exhibition which is informative as there is the text which is explain about the display. Make sure that we spent time to watch the multimedia documentation as well to get more information.


Outside View and Ticket



Main Area Section



























The South East Asia Section










 



 












Open-air Exhibition









References:

1.         Asemus. (05.02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
http://asemus.museum/museum/vietnam-museum-of-ethnology/
2.         Blue, Yang. Vietnam Honeymoon (05.02.2017). Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
http://www.vietnamhoneymoon.com/museum-of-ethnology-in-hanoi
3.         Brochure. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
4.         Brown, Nancy D. What A Trip (05.02.2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a Hanoi Must See
http://www.nancydbrown.com/2016/10/28/vietnam-museum-of-ethnology-is-a-hanoi-must-see.html
5.         Cat. Travel.snap.Stories.(05.02.2017). Vietnam Hanoi: Cultural Time in Museum of Ethnology
http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2015/05/vietnam-hanoi-cultural-time-in-museum-of-ethnology/
6.         Cheapest Destination (05.02.2017). One Must-See in Hanoi: Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
http://www.cheapestdestinationsblog.com/2013/01/07/must-see-in-hanoi-vietnam-museum-of-ethnology/
7.         Lonely Planet (05. 02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/vietnam/hanoi/attractions/vietnam-museum-of-ethnology/a/poi-sig/1141856/357880
8.         Rough Guides (05. 02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/vietnam/hanoi-and-around/west-lake/museum-of-ethnology/
9.         Shore Excursions (05. 02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
http://www.shoreexcursions.asia/vietnam-museum-ethnology/
10.      Sullivan, Mary Ann. Bluffton. (05.02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
https://www.bluffton.edu/homepages/facstaff/sullivanm/vietnam/hanoi/ethnology/ethnology.html
11.      Vietnam (05. 02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
http://www.vietnam-guide.com/hanoi/vietnam-museum-ethnology.htm
12.      Vietnam Online (05.02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
https://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/vietnam-museum-of-ethnology.html
13.      Vietnam-Beauty. (05.02.2017). Vietnam Ethnology Museum
http://www.vietnam-beauty.com/cities/ha-noi/4-ha-noi/77-vietnam-ethnology-museum.html

15.      Wikipedia (05. 02. 2017). Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Museum_of_Ethnology

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