Organization - Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Basic Information
English Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Local language Bảo tàng Dân tộc học Việt Nam
Country Vietnam
Category Museum
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Education and Training
Established year 1995
  • To research, collect, conserve, revitalize, and document ethnology;
  • To carry out exhibitions, performances, and other activities;
  • To introduce and teach about cultures of ethnic groups in Vietnam as well as other countries in the world.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was established by the state as a social academy institute and is included in the national museum system in Vietnam. The establishment process of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was carried out in the 1980s while Vietnam was facing deep post-war difficulties. On 24 October 1995, the prime minister approved the decision to establish the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is located on Nguyen Van Huyen Street, which has become a very interesting destination for domestic and international tourists because of simple displays reflecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, typical factual features in daily life, and the creativity of Vietnamese ethnic groups.

The museum is located on a precinct of 4.5 hectares, and comprises three exhibition areas:

  • The Bronze Drum, a two-story building, displays images and objectives of ethnic groups. It opened on 13 November 1997.
  • The Architecture Garden is an outdoor exhibition area that was built from 1988 to 2006 on an area of 2 hectares, and features ten folk architectural works from ten ethnic groups.
  • The Kite is a four-story building built in June 2007 that opened in late 2013 and offers exhibitions on inhabitants of Southeast Asia.
Major Activities

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology draws a lot of public attention with its art performances due to the diversity of types and the uniqueness of the programs. The performances are carried out by local people from different provinces.

Performances include music performances with Sắc bùa gongs by Mường people; gongs and collective dance by Triêng people; flute playing by Xá Phó people; and ship rowing singing, Xoan singing, Bả Trạo singing by Việt people.

The Vietnam museum of Ethnology is a big theater of cultural performance activities, and functions as a bridge between tradition and modern times, between cultural owners and community.

Many artisans are invited to give demonstrations at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. Demonstrations include ceramic making by Thái, Việt, Chăm people; weaving, dying by Laotian, Thái, Cơtu, Việt, Hmông; knitting by Khơmú, La Ha people; forging by Nùng, Hmông, Việt people; fishing equipment making; and Vietnamese traditional medicine processing.

The museum also organizes annual programs on occasions, such as the Tet festival, children’s festival, mid-autumn festival, and others. These events feature many performing activities by artisans from different communities.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology also holds many regular and irregular intangible cultural performances, which draw public attention and attracts people to visit the museum, attend events, and experience cultures.

Throughout the activities, visitors to the museum have a chance to see skillful and talented artisans and craftsmen weaving brocade, making sleeping mats, knitting bamboo and rattan, making pottery, making Nepal plant paper, printing Đông Hồ pictures, and building folk toys. In addition, visitors can enjoy folksongs such as Quan Họ folksong, Ví, Giặm folksongs, Bài Chòi singing in Quang Nam, art of Đờn ca tài tử music, and songs from southern Vietnam.

Folk games from different ethnic minority groups are also popular. Every Saturday and Sunday, there is water puppet performance. This activity contributes to the restoration and conservation of Vietnam water puppetry. The museum thus helps water puppetry groups to maintain and improve performance quality, and encourages typical diversification of each group. The museum enables the public to meet and have exchanges with artisans.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology also organizes coordinate programs with schools and universities:

  • Organizing tours to visit the museum for primary schools, secondary schools, high schools, and universities;
  • Setting up documents for pupils, students, and teachers for each level;
  • Designing training programs for teachers; and
  • Creating programs to bring cultural heritage education to schools and universities.
Contact Information (Organization)
Address Nguyen Van Huyen street, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel +84-4-3756-2192
Fax +84-4-3836-0351

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