Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is located on the land of 9,500 square meters on Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, around 8 kilometers from the city centre.
Despite being out of the way compared with other museums in Hanoi, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is worth a thorough visit, for those who want to learn about the multiculturality of Vietnam and for those who would appreciate some green space.
The museum offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country. In its future planning, the Museum intends to present the cultures and civilization of other countries in South-East Asia and in the region as well.
The museum has collected 15,000 artifacts, 2,190 slides, 42,000 photographs, 237 audiotapes, 373 videotapes and 25 CD-ROMs, to be displayed for all visitors. To fully serve the demands of tourists, all the information in the exhibition as well as articles and notes are translated into three languages, which are Vietnamese, English and French.
Besides a tourism spot, it is also a centre for ethnographic research employing many experts on the different ethnic groups. Coming here, visitors may find out that the museum has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group in Vietnam. All displayed objects mingle and supplement one another to create a colorful and diversified picture of Vietnamese culture.
The indoor permanent collection occupies the majority of the exhibition space. However, there is a separate area for the temporary exhibits. The permanent collection is divided into 9 main sections, each of which includes objects displayed in glass cases and dioramas:
· Introduction of the Viet group (Kinh)
· Introduction of Muong, Tho, Chut ethnic groups
· The ethnic groups belonging to the Tay, Thai, and Ka Dai group
· The ethnic groups belonging to the H’Mong-Dao group, Tang Group, and San Diu, Ngai ethnic groups
· The ethnic groups belonging to the Mon-Khmer group
· The ethnic groups belonging to the Nam Dao
· The ethnic groups of Cham, Hoa, Khmer
· The exchange and mingle among different ethnic groups
An open-air exhibition in the museum’s spacious and peaceful ground features ethnic houses from all over Vietnam. The outdoor exhibition area is only large enough for the most popular architectural styles to be presented. Already presented are the Ede long house, the Tay stilt house, the Yao house half on stilts and half on earth, the Hmong house whose roof is made of pomu wood, the Viet house with tile roof, etc. Between the houses, there are trees indigenous to the area of each house, zigzagging paths and a meandering stream crossed by small bridges. The outdoor museum is of much captivation to most tourists not only for the cultural values but also for a natural landscape.
The stilt house of Ede people
The stilt house of Tay people
The house of BaNa people