Organization - The Cultural Museum (Taunggyi)

The Cultural Museum (Taunggyi)
Basic Information
English The Cultural Museum (Taunggyi)
Local language
Country Myanmar
Category Museum
Function Research
Established year 1956
  • To safeguard both the intangible cultural heritage and the tangible cultural heritage of Shan peoples;
  • To be a knowledge center of Shan cultural heritage.

Cultural Museum (Taung Gyi) is situated on the Bogyoke Aung San road at the forest ward in Taung Gyi, Shan State, Myanmar. At first, it was organized as the Shan state Cultural Department at the Shan state office, and it exhibited some cultural objects. According to the new administration system of 1974, it was transferred to the Fine Arts Department and it was inaugurated as the Cultural Museum at the present building on May 11, 1974. This museum is a cultural museum under the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

It is two-storied brick building with a display area of about 11,200 square feet. There are four exhibition rooms. Altogether 880 artifacts are showcased in the excavation rooms.

In the first exhibition room, traditional costumes and traditional instruments of the over thirty Shan communities still living in Shan State each with its own culture are displayed.

In the second exhibition room, intangible cultural heritage of Shan peoples, such as traditional arts and crafts, are displayed.

In the third exhibition room, the Pinlon agreement led by General Aung San on 12 February 1947 is shown. Moreover, colorful paintings illustrating the traditional cultures of the Shan peoples are displayed.

The fourth exhibition room is dedicated to the literature and Buddhist beliefs of Shan peoples. Moreover, ancient artifacts from various periods that flourished in the Shan state are exhibited.

Major Activities

Cultural Museum (Taunggyi) is situated in the Southern Shan State and is under the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Taunggyi). According to the organizational chart, the state director manages the entire Shan State. The Shan State is divided into three parts: the Eastern Shan State, the Northern Shan State and the Southern Shan State. The eastern and northern parts each have an assistant director who explores and safeguards both tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Shan communities. To be effective, they submit reports about the ICH and TCH of Shan communities directly to the head office situated in Nay Pyi Taw, although these two sections are under the state director. Hence, the Cultural Museum (Taunggyi) surveys, explores, records, and safeguards the ICH and TCH in the Southern Shan State under the management of the state director.

In the exploration steps, documentation is the most important process. Documentation is carried out by following the form of UNESCO. Most of the ICH recorded by Cultural Museum (Taunggyi) are (a) social practices, rituals, and festive events; and (b) traditional craftsmanship. Social practices, rituals, and festive events can be recorded only during the occasions, and therefore, care must be taken when documenting as there is only one chance to record. For traditional craftsmanship, the craftsmen can be asked to demonstrate their skills and photographs and videos can provide detail. Moreover, their history, the process of craftsmanship, and other necessary data can be requested in detail.

The staff has to travel to search and collect the data in various parts of the state. Even in the insurgent area, the staff eagerly travels for documentation because some tribes living there and some arts and crafts developing there are very rare. Documentation is done by taking photographs, videos, and recording. Sometimes, it is difficult to record ICH owing to the language barrier. The recorded data is kept in both soft copy and hard copy at the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Taunggyi). ICH documentation records have been kept since 2000, and altogether fifty items of ICH have been recorded.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Forest ward, Bogyoke Aung San Road, Taunggyi, Shan State.
Tel +95812121610,+95812121612
Fax +95812121610,+95812121157

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