Museum of Ethnology ~ previews of future discoveries…Hanoi,Viet Nam

Our visit to the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology whets our appetite for visits to the countryside.  In all, Vietnam is comprised of 54 distinct ethnic groups, each with their own language, traditions, arts, clothing etc.
Here, 9 sub groups of the Han Ethnic family.
The variety of textiles, intricate weavings and embroidery, gorgeous batik, is mind boggling.

One ethnic group is described in the Museum as the “White Tai”, another the “Black Tai” – these are distinct groups that seldom inter-marry.  The traditional clothing is not the stuff of museums, this is how they dress today still and market days are a cacophony of colors.  We can’t WAIT to go explore.
This unique house design comes from a “Central Highlands” ethnic group that works mostly with bamboo.  The floor is bamboo.  Ben is thinking that this may be our first foray into the “real Vietnam”, as we will be sourcing bamboo for US customers.

Magnificent ceramic urns are used to keep rice wine.  Note the bamboo floor.
Very interesting method: this tribe works with “bark” as a fabric material.  It is reportedly very strong and provides protection against the night cold.
Glass paintings are also a specialty of one of the tribes.
Peta is starting to realize how much there is for us to delve into and the rich, rich, rich environment of our new home country.  Peta is particularly interested in gaining exposure to the Hmong people, whose expertise with Batik and embroidery is reflected in their colorful, textured clothing.
Water puppetry is an important part of the culture.  Here is an example of a wooden puppet.
And now for the unexpected — traditional burial rites include shared “tombs” for 16 family members.  The graphic sexual wooden sculptures are common decorative additions.  They redefine the concept of “wood”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *