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  3. FOREWORD Dear all tourists who are in fond of learning about the culture of Viet Nam’s ethnic groups all around Viet Nam, Life is long journeys and I wonder how many journeys have you ever taken part in? Have you ever visited the Museum of the culture of Viet Nam’s ethnic groups. If you haven’t, our SkyFall Group will lead you to a centre of traditional cultures and historical values of Vietnamese ethnic groups. In this brochure, we will provide you with very necessary information about this tour including five showrooms with five different cultural spaces. We hope that this brouchure will give you a lot of informations! Wish all of you have an interesting trip! Sincerely, SkyFall group

  4. INTRODUCTION The museum of cultures of Vietnam's ethnic groups is located in the Centre of Thai Nguyen city ,about 80km north of Hanoi on national way 3. The museum was built in 1960 . Its first name was Viet Bac museum . In 1990, the museum was renamed the museum of the cultures of Vietnam's ethnic groups. It become one of the seven national museums of Vietnam. The museum is a big cultural center with more than 10000 documents and artifacts belong to the cultural heritage of 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. The museum also presents big collection of agricultural, handiwork and hunting tools. There are five indoor showrooms which are exhibited the cultures of different ethnic language groups consisting of Viet-Muong, Tay-Thai, Hmong-Dao, Mon-Khmer and Malayo–Polynesian language groups and an outdoor exhibition system . It’s also a place for people to learn about the history and traditional festivals of ethnic groups in Viet Nam.

  5. CONTENT Hall A 1 Showroom No.1: Cultures of ethnic groups of Viet-Muong language group 2 Showroom No2: Cultures of ethnic groups of Tay-Thai language group 5 Showroom No3:Cultures of ethnic groups of H’mong-Dao, Kadai and Tibeto-Burman language group 9 11 Showroom No4: Cultures of ethnic groups of Mon-Khmer language group 13 Showroom No5: Cultures of ethnic groups of Chinese and Malayo-Polylesian language group 15 The outdoor exhibition system

  6. HALL A HALL A HALL A HALL A The statue of President Ho Chi Minh In the hall A, the general features of cultures of Vietnamese ethnic groups are introduced. At the big vestibule, we can admire the statue of President Ho Chí Minh, the Vietnamese people’s beloved leader. He embraces three children representing three areas North-Central-South. You can see the love of Ho Chi Minh for children in Vietnam. It also shows great unity of Vietnam nation. Wooden relief Behind the statue of President Ho Chi Minh is a big wooden describing typical and traditional festivals of ethnic groups from North to South: Khèndancing in mountainous, Lion dancing in spring festival in the valley, Buffalo stabbing festival of the people in the Central Highlands, boat race festival of the Khmer and elephant racing of the M'‘nong. The elephant race is the biggest festival in the Central Highlands. Coming here, you will not only feel the martial spirit of the M'nong ethnic people, who are very famous for skill in hunting wild elephants, but also the magnificent landscape of the Central Highlands which enforce the huge characters of traditional festival. Tag : Elephant race festival 1

  7. SHOWROOM 1: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC GROUPS OF VIET-MUONG LANGUAGE GROUP SHOWROOM 1: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC GROUPS VIET-MUONG LANGUAGE GROUP Altar of ancestral worshipping Altar of ancestral worshipping of the Kinh is the most solemn space in the Kinh’’’'s house. Since long time ago, the Kinh have had the custom of worshipping their ancestors because they believe in the immortal after death. Every year, they burn incense in death anniversaries, the first and fifteenth of lunar months not only to show their filial respect and reminiscence of deceased but also to pray the ancestors for blessing them with health, safety, and prosperity. In middle and wealthy families, they arrange following red lacquered and gold-trimmed altar. The altars are various worshipping objects such as: a tube containing the family annals, lamps, candle stands… Above the altar, there are a horizontal lacquered board and two parallel scrolls to show the feelings of descendants towards their ancestors as well as the family’s conditions. On the horizontal lacquered board, the inscription “Phuclyýduy chi” means: “Good luck forever” and the two parallel scrolls: "Thithutaothuchuongnhiendđuc,“Nhatnguyetđdongaânphucmaãnđduong"”mean: "Early studying the Confucian books would disseminate the family’'s fame of virtue" and “"The family would be always full of the sun and moon light, and good luck for future generations". These two parallel scrolls show that the family has had a literature career. It also expresses praising the ancestors’ benevolences, virtues and encouraging the descendants to follow this career. 2

  8. SHOWROOM 1: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC GROUPS SHOWROOM 1: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC OF VIET-MUONG LANGUAGE GROUP Village gate Village gate is a familiar image of the Kinh people. The Kinh live together in villages. There used to be a bamboo hedge surrounding residential area in every village. The village gate is not the only symbol of a village but it often exits with the images of banyan tree, well, and communal house. A traditional village gate used to be watch tower to fight again the enemy. To the XX century, it was not a watch tower anymore. Apart from its function as a “door”, the village gate also demonstrates local character. Wet rice cultivation and food processing The Kinh have a very early tradition of rice growing. Through many generations, our ancestors summed up experience as in the proverb: “Firstly water, secondly fertilizer, thirdly diligence, and fourthly the seeds”. When coming here, we will be experienced ancestors’ traditions through tools such as plough, harrow, hoe, bucket for water irrigation are exhibited at the Museum to display manual works in a farmer’s family: “Husband plough, wife transplanting, and the buffalo harrowing”. The processing of rice goes along with rice cultivation. In the 70s of the XX century, the processing was simple, using manual pounding and rice huller . Every early morning or late in the evening, the rural women bustled about pounding and husking rice, and cooking meal for their who le families. 3

  9. OF VIET-MUONG LANGUAGE GROUP SHOWROOM 1: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC OF VIET-MUONG LANGUAGE GROUP The Muong’s stilted house Stilted house is a traditional house of the Muong ethnic group. It is made of wood, bamboos, thatch or palm leaves. The staircase is usually an odd number because they concept that odd numbers are lucky. Therefore, it often has seven or nine steps. In this sacred room, there is a window called “voong window”. In normal days, no any things or people are allowed to go through it and it is only used for bringing the casket out in funeral. Cultures of the Tho and Chut Cultures of the Tho and Chut are quite similar. They cultivate milpas associated with wet rice fields. They also have experience in fishing, hunting and weaving flax hammock for daily use. However, they do not weave fabric, therefore they mostly buy them or exchange with neighbour ethnic groups. The Tho live in the West of Nghe An province. Majorly, they live in mountainous villages along rivers and large streams. In the past, they lived in stilted houses, but now mostly live in ground houses. The Chut also live in the Northern parts of Central Vietnam. However, they mainly live in Minh Hoa and TuyenHoa districts, QuangBinh province at present. They live a settled life in villages on mountain slopes. Formerly, they practiced shifting cultivation, living in caves, rudimentary huts roofed with forest tree leaves. 4

  10. SHOWROOM 2 : CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC SHOWROOM 2: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC OF TAY-THAI LANGUAGE GROUP • House of Thai people • In its exhibition, the Museum has a model of a corner of the Thai’s house ThuanChau District, Son La province. House of them has a the unique culture. Firstly, their house have a unique features which are easy to distinguish with from house’s ethnic people because it is shaped like a tortoise shell. Scales on the shell tiles of the roof, four legs are four main columns to support the house. The height of house is about 2 meters, materials to do it is available in the naturals such as: wood, bamboo, cogon…Secondly, their house always have 2 stairs. In front is the one reserved for male and guests, the back stairs are reserved for women. The next is kitchen. In the traditional stilted house of them there are always 2 kitchens, one at the outside room for heating, boiling water, and another one at the inside room for cooking. Cooking fire is very important for them. One more things, the windows are decorated with the shape of a crescent moon. And there are also decoration type of symmetrical mother and child- father and child, expressing a wish of having a happy family. The bars in the shape of the teeth of a harrow are the signs of the wealthy and happiness. • Water wheel- a natural beauty • People of Tay- Thai always live in the valleys, and in which has enjoy favorable natural conditions of fertile rice fields. To be favorable for farming, they have created and built many waterworks suitable for the terrain. They also have a lot of experiences in building the embankments of a rice field, digging canal, especially they knew use to water wheel to bring water to rice field. Water wheel not only is the powerful farm equipment in agricultural production, but also it has become the familiar image of people Tay- Thai language. Water wheel is made from bamboo and wood, taking advantage of water energy, blocking the water current, creating pressure to turn the wheel. When the wheel turns, the bamboo tubes around the wheel brim will take water from stream and pour into canal to irrigate the rice field. To sum up, with lifestyle close the nature, to turn natural materials into a tool serving the manufacturing, labor and conquer, natural improvement shows the wonderful creation of human highlands. 5

  11. OF TAY-THAI LANGUAGE GROUP OF TAY-THAI LANGUAGE GROUP SHOWROOM 2: CULTURES OF THE ETHNIC OF TAY-THAI LANGUAGE GROUP . Long Tong festival ‘’ Long tong’’ festival is a festival of going to the rice field, organized in early spring at about 3 Lunar January. Festival was held to express their gratitude towards the genies’ blessing for a bumper crop and lucky life. The festival has two main parts. There are rite and festival part. In rite part, this is the first ritual, the most sacred and important part. Everybody prepares a stray of offerings with chicken, roasted pork, wine, steamed glutinous rice and crispiest to express their gratitude towards the agricultural genie and pray for a bumper crop at the rice field or before the temple. In the festival, this is the main of ‘’Long tong’’ festival. Come here, visitor can take part in traditional folk games such as: unicorn dancing, tug of war, throwing "còn” …. One more especially in here, throwing con is an indispensable activity.. This is the folk game imbued with the spirit of fecundity worshipping. The game is hold on a level field, they have planted a tall bamboo tree in the middle, the height of it is 15-20 centimeters, above is the top and make into a ring 50-60 centimeter. It is representing the sky and call ‘’ "phỏngcòn"’’. The square "còn"” ball express the earth. In this festival, they must throw the ball through the ring. If who throw the ball, they will win and receive a gift. Furthermore, many couples find their lover and come to marriage through festival 6

  12. Once you go. you know

  13. SHOWROOM 3: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE H’MONG- SHOWROOM 3:CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE H’MONG-DAO,KADAI AND TIBETO-BURMAN LANGUAGE GROUOP The mountainous fair culture Fair is the traditional market of the H’mong- Dao, Kadai and Tibeto- Burman ethnic groups which is usually held once a week or every two weeks. On the market days, many people in different ethnic groups from different places go to the market to buy or sell goods. Thus, a fair is not only a trading post but also an occasion for cultural exchange. The Bac Ha fair is the biggest market in the mountainous areas of northern Viet Nam. Living far away from the economic centers, the ethnic people usually walk to the market and carry their goods by a horse. Furthermore, they will wear their best clothes on that day. In their custom, a fair is also a place of entertainment and communication with the friends. Besides, it is the time to acquaint with new friends and find a spouse by taking part in the traditional game or singing and dancing together. “Thang Co” “ThangCo”is a very famous food in Bac Ha fair. It is prepared by simmering for hours a hotchpotch of meat, bone and intestine of various cattle. After exchanging goods, the men invite each other to eat ThangCo”and drink corn liquor in order to forget their hard-working days before coming home. Especially, the H’mongwifes never prevent her husband from drinking or feel angry when their husbands are drunk. They are even happy and proud of this because in their concept, a drunken husband is a good husband, a good man and a good man will have many friends to drink with him. So they will be patiently to wait for their husband . 9

  14. DAO, KADAI AND TIBETO-BURMAN LANGUAGE GROUP SHOWROOM 3: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE H’MONG-DAO,KADAI AND TIBETO-BURMAN LANGUAGE GROUOP Cap Sac” ceremony “Cap Sac” is a very important ceremony of the Dao because in their concept, a mature man is still considered as a child if he does not experience the “ Cap Sac” ceremony and vice versa. Although a man can take this ceremony form twelfth years old, there were Dao men who couldn’t become an adult even when he died because it demands a lot of things to hold a “ Cap Sac” ceremony such as: rice, meat, liquor, worshipping pictures, traditional musical instruments…and the preparing time is not the same in each family.The “Cap Sac” ceremony of the Tight-trousers Dao group is carried out in front of the ancestral altar. The matured man sits on a small chair. Three sorcerers offer three lamps at the altar then they put them around the man: the first sorcerer places the lamps on his head, the second one places it on his right shoulder and the third one places it on his left shoulder.He has to sit for hours to withstand the heat of those lamps while a sorcerer reads two papers about his personalities. After that, one paper is burned to send to the ancestor, the other is kept as a passport for the matured man to meet his ancestor when he died. • Weaving fabric and embroidery • All of the H’mong, Dao, Pa Then, La Chi, La Ha, Phu La ethnic groups still maintain weaving Fabric to meet their wearing demands. The image of loom can be seen in almost their families. Embroidery and creating fabric are unique cultural identities of the H’mong Dao women.Although all the patterns on their clothes are created by themselves without any painted model, they are very exquisite and sophisticated. In their belief, without ability of embroidering, a good – looking woman is still an unattractive one and an obedient woman is still a spoiled one. Consequently, woman’s cloth is also a selection criterion for wife of the ethnic man. 10

  15. SHOWROOM 4: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF SHOWROOM 4: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE MON-KHMER LANGUAGE GROUP . Hunting and taming elephants Welcome to Highlands, you always encounter elephants in every family, they considered that the elephant is like you, a member of his family because elephants always travel with them in labor. Therefore, the people organize the hunting of elephants in Lunar March every year. It demonstrates the sporting spirit and forces of the village and drives away the wild elephants from the production area so that they would not destroy the crops. After the whale hunting, they start taming them to become domesticated elephants. They showed elephants that with the experience and creativity, so it docile, obedient people and gives them traction, transport. Besides, in the Central Highlands people organize a ritual to pray for elephants' health as solemnly like the one for human being. Today, while tourism is developing, elephants are used to transport visitors to villages and many elephant racing festivals are organized in national scale. Khmer pagoda Khmer pagoda built in the center of the village is a cultural symbol of the Khmer. Like the communal house of the Kinh people or “Rong” house of the ethnic people in Tay Nguyen area, pagoda is a center of communal cultural activities of the Khmer. In their concept, the world is only the temporary dwelling, life after death is nirvana and the pagoda is a bridge between them. Therefore, the pagoda is the most sacred space of the Khmer. it observes the maturity of Khmer people: when they are young, they go to the pagoda to learn; when they get marriage, the wedding ceremony is held in the pagoda to pray for happiness; and when they died, their bones is also put in the pagoda to be blessed by Buddha. Besides, the pagoda is a place to carry out festivals of the Khmer such as: the traditional Tet (Chonchnam-Thmay festival) in mid Lunar April, the OocOom Bok festival- a festival to thank the Moon for a good harvest in Lunar October... 11

  16. THE MON-KHMER LANGUAGE GROUP SHOWROOM 4: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE MON-KHMER LANGUAGE GROUP Musical instruments Khmer’ music is an early type of development. It reflects all area of cultural activities, emotional expression, thinking of the aesthetic structure’ Khmer South. Labor daily life has partially affected the creativity in inventing instruments. Ethnic groups of Mon-Khmer language group have created diversified musical instruments such as: gongs, drums, buffalo horns, and T'’rung. They are not only used in festival but also in daily life. Particularly, the Central highlands are famous for gongs which are performed in concerts at community’s rituals and dancing. On November 25th, 2005, Central Highland's’ Gongs is recognized intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Khmer musical instruments are various. Typically, the five tones orchestra plays an important role in the people’s spiritual. The set of musical instruments includes five tones: bronze, iron, wood, leather, and vapor. It is used in folk dancing and singing festival. Rong house and new rice festival Rong House in Central Highlands is considered as the heart of ethnic minority. Local people consider Rong House as a solemn and sacred place. It seems to be a symbol of power because most local people gather here for common activities. A Rong house has 5 rooms, with the height from 15 to 20 meters. Its architecture is like a stilted house with partitions, high and steep roof and broad inside.. The new rice festival is the biggest traditional festival of Vietnamese upland people which is often held in Rong house. The festival usually happens when the very first rice packages are cut in November or December. It can last two or three days depending on estimated productive level of gathering crops. The worshipping ceremony is took place to celebrate productive crops and to thank gods (Yang) for helping villagers get those. Ritual offerings include: a strong bull, a pig, a chicken, a tray of young rice flakes and a wine jar. 12

  17. SHOWROOM 5: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE CHINESE SHOWROOM 5: CULTURES OF ETHNIC OF THE CHINESE AND MALAYO-POLYNESIAN LAND GUAGE GROUPS • Ceremony to abandon the tomb After the ceremony, the mourning period is over, people living allows her/his husband/wife to remarry and have a free and independent life. The ceremony is often held for 3 to 5 days. The rituals involves making a funerary house with statues made from rough woof carved in the shapes of monkeys, peacocks and human beings,… with the beliefs that the soul of the dead would incarnate into the statues and they would become the slaves of the dead’s soul in the afterworld. The statues in the shapes of nude men, women, women pounding rice, elephant riders,… plainly represent the life on the earth so that the dead wouldn’t be solitary. The ceremony to abandon the tomb is considered is big ritual of the family and community, an actual happy day of both the living and the dead. After the ceremony nobody would visit the funeral house, it falls into oblivion with time and the living would totally finish with the dead. • Ceremony to abandon the tomb is the biggest important one in the spiritual life of ethnic groups in Central highlands. The ritual involves many forms of arts such as: architecture, carving, painting, music, dancing, and performing,… with the aim to see off the deceased to the afterworld. According to the customs of ethnic groups in the Central highlands, when deceased relatives they are put in a coffin which made from a big perforated stick, the top is sealed by board and plaster by plastic tree. The Central highlands ethnic concept that deceased have been linked with living. Therefore, during this time, the family has to visit, provide foods and utensils to the deceased. Only after the ceremony, the soul of the dead would be released and come to the ancestors 'world. Ceremony to abandon the tomb is tear down the temporary grave, razed grave then build a bigger grave. Therefore , this is the actual grave of the deceased. 13

  18. AND MALAYO-POLYNESIAN LAND GUAGE GROUPS SHOWROOM 5: CULTURES OF THE ETHINC OF THE CHINESE AND MALAYO-POLYNESIAN LANGUAGE GROUP Long house Traditional long house of the Ede is an unique cultural product. The long house of the Ede is a place where hold cultural activities of the people. Materials for building house are bamboo, wood and thatch. A house is often built in North-South direction. Their long stilt houses have length from 30m to 60m. A house is divided into two main parts: the Gah, which makes up one third of the total area and the Ok. The Gah is used for receiving guests, family gatherings, worshipping,… The Gah and the Ok are separated by carved pillars called KmehKpang. The Ok is the place of kitchen and dwelling for couples. An Ede house has male and female doors in the middle of two gables. The door for men and guests is in the front, while the back door is for others and women Formerly, in a house, there are four generations being under the management of a woman. In contrast, today, the Ede live in a house with a smaller family which comprises one or two generation / • Club-house Gate of the Hoa • Club-house is a typical structure in its architecture and function. Almost of the Hoa club-house were built in the 17th- early 18th centuries. This is the place to maintain communal activities and worshipping of the gods, preserve the beliefs of the community. The gate of Futian club-house is in Chinese style with big vault of many stages, it curved roof decorate with figures of unicorns and lions to show the male power,… and its principal colour is red, the yang colour which brings about good luck and happiness. 14

  19. The outdoor exhibition system The outdoor exhibition system of museum of the cultures of Vietnam’s ethnic group was completed in 2010. The outdoor exhibition includes 6 cultural spaces: Northern mountainous area, Valley, Plain and middle land of the north, Central-coastal area, Truong son mountain range, Central highland, Plain of the south The exhibition space of the culture of Northern mountainous area display the prototype of a traditional house of the White H’mong in MeoVac district, Ha Giang province as a typical feature to introduce the cultural life of the dwellers in this area. The space of the valley culture is exhibited with a traditional stilted house of the Tay in Bac Son, Lang Son province and a traditional house of the Nung. The space of the culture of Middle land and plain in the North includes the Viet’s traditional house in Tam Da commune, Yen Phong district, BacNinh province. In this place, there are areca trees, jackfruits, bamboos, betel, a village gate and village road paved with slanting bricks. 15

  20. The culture of Central-coastal area is exhibited on a space consisting of Cham tower, Whale worshipping temple, pottery workshop of the Cham. Its landscape includes: cactus, casuarina, other trees and figures of young Cham girls carrying water. In the space exhibiting the culture of Truong Son Mountains-Central highlands, there are the Rong house of the Ba Na, Ba Na grave house, statues of elephants.… The space of the culture of the South plain introduces the model and landscape around the sanctum of Phuong pagoda of the Khmer people in TraVinh province in which has tower containing the bones of the Khmer, the gate of Cham Ka pagoda. 16

  21. CONCLUSION The museum of the cultures of Vietnam’s ethnic groups introduces the traditional cultures of the ethnic groups in Viet Nam including both the inside and outside exhibition systems. It is arranged following the system of language groups and cultural areas with 3000 original documents and item of archiving values. In each showroom, visitors would not only admire the beautiful cultural features but also study more deeply about the typical culture of the ethnic groups like dwelling area, economic activities, gastronomy, houses, cultural and ritual activities… With the functions as an organization of research, collection as well as exhibition the national traditional cultures, the Museum has contributed to preserve, develop Vietnamese culture and impregnate the modern Vietnamese culture with its national identities.

  22. ABOUT US Our group “ SkyFall” was established on February 17th, 2014 comprising five members : Pham Huy Hoang, DiepThiTham, Vu Thi Phuong Thao, Do ThiThoa and Ly Thi Mai Trinh .With the aim of introducing The Museum of the Cultures of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups to everyone, especially the foreigners, we have worked hard to research essential and useful information and synthesize it into this book. We hope that our book will be helpful to you who want to study about the Vietnamese culture ! Wishing you have an interesting journey! SKYFALL GROUP DIRECTOR Pham Huy Hoang DESIGNERS: Main designers : Ly Thi Mai Trinh, Diep ThiTham, Pham Huy Hoang Supporters : Vu Thi Phuong Thao , Do ThiThoa COMPILERS: Introduction and Hall A : Pham Huy Hoang Showroom1 : Diep ThiTham Showroom2 : Vu Thi Phuong Thao Showroom3 : Ly Thi Mai Trinh Showroom4: Diep ThiTham, Vu Thi Phuong Thao, Ly Thi Mai Trinh, Do ThiThoa Showroom5: Do ThiThoa Outside exhibition : Pham Huy Hoang, Diep ThiTham, Ly Thi Mai Trinh Conclusion :Ly Thi Mai Trinh To get more detailed information, please contact with us via: Email Tel:(0280).3845709 Website:

  23. …Stand up and go with us ! SKYFALL TOURISM