Thai Nguyen Ethnology Museum is a repository depicting the culture of Vietnamese ethnic groups living throughout the country. It is also a place for people to learn about the origins and traditional cultural identities of every ethnic group in Viet Nam. The museum is located in centre of Thai Nguyen City, about 80km from Hanoi.
Thai Nguyen ethnology museum, also called the Museum of the Cultures of Viet Nam’s Ethnic Groups was established in 1960 in an area of 39,000m2 of which 3,000m2 is used for exhibition. It contains more than 10,000 documents, and artifacts belong to the cultural heritage of 54 ethnic groups of Viet Nam.
The museum also presents an extensive collection of agricultural, handicraft, and hunting tools. Typical ritual clothes with bright colors and decorative motifs of different ethnic minorities are also exhibited. The unusual costumes of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups used for worshiping their sorcerers are embroidered with lines and designs that supposedly perceive magical sounds.
The exhibition system of the museum includes 5 showrooms:
The Viet-Muong showroom presents nearly 500 documents, objects, and photographs illustrating archaeological articles discovered in Phung Nguyen, Dong Dau, and Go Mun in the North of the country. Exhibits of Vietnamese national agricultural and handicraft productions and brocades woven by Muong ethnic minorities are also displayed.
Exhibited in the Tay-Thai showroom are nearly 500 documents and artifacts related to the slash-and-burn agricultural technique and traditional trades of minorities, such as the Tay, Thai, Lao, and Lu. Women’s clothes and musical folk instruments such as the tinh string instrument, the flute, as well as displays of the traditional ceremonies of several minorities are also exhibited.
The H’mong-Dao showroom displays approximately 600 documents and artifacts reflecting the agricultural practices of the H’mong, such as slash-and-burn farming, terraced rice fields, hunting weapons, and clothes of the H’mong-Dao ethnic group.
The Mon – Khmer showroom introduces unique cultural features of 21 ethnic groups who live scatteringly in the North – East, Central – Central Highlands and South in Viet Nam. Architectures of communal house and long house on the Central Highlands and pagoda of Khmer people; weaving handicraft and community cultural festival are specific traits of the Mon – Khmer people.
The 5th showroom popularizes cultural values of Austronesian and Han ethnic groups. The Austronesian culture and Han culture have the matriarchal characteristics and the patriarchy characteristics, respectively.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 7.00am to 11.00am and 1.30pm to 5.00pm in summer (7.30am – 12.00am and 1.30pm – 5.00pm in winter).
Entrance fee: VND 20,000 per person.