Museum of Ethnology of Minzu University of China
Address: 27 Zhongguancun South Avenue, Beijing
Website: bwg.muc.edu.cn (Cn)
Closed Fridays (except for national holidays and summer and winter vacations)
General admission: 10 yuan ($1.41)
Free admission is available for students, the elderly, military officers and the disabled holding valid certificates. On International Museum Day on May 18 and International Children’s Day, it opens to the public for free.
Group visitors can book free tour guide services in advance.
Founded in 1951, the Museum of Ethnology of Minzu University of China specializes in collecting, displaying and studying the cultural relics of 56 ethnic groups in China. It has a floor space of about 5,000 square meters.
Its collection includes flags, revolutionary cultural relics, local specialties, production tools, traditional garments, furs, ancient artifacts, historical documents, jewelry, weapons, musical instruments, religious articles, and cultural relics of various foreign countries and nations, such as porcelain, coins and pictures, totaling more than 30,000 pieces.
The exhibits display all kinds of historical relics, demonstrating the history, culture and customs of 56 ethnic groups in China. They are primarily traditional costumes and jewelries, most of which have a history of several decades or even 100 years, and demonstrate each group's excellent skills in textiles, printing and dyeing, embroidery, leather tanning and metal processing.
Another highlight of the exhibits is that some of them are of great political and historical significance, such as the precious gifts presented by the Dalai Lama, Panchen and ethnic minority groups to Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and the CPC Central Committee in the early days after China's liberation. These collections record and embody the Party's cordial concern for ethnic minorities and the heartfelt support and affection felt by the ethnic minorities for the CPC Central Committee and for Chairman Mao.
In addition, there are many precious relics with great historical, artistic and academic value, such as stones from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, bronze-ware dated to the Shang and Zhou dynasties (c. 11th century-256 BC), bronze mirrors from the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC- AD 220), ancient coins, calligraphy and paintings, gold and silver vessels used by aristocracy of Mongolian, Tibetan and other ethnic minorities, Tibetan thangka paintings, and religious items and ancient books of the Tibetan, Dai, Yi, Naxi and Sui ethnic groups.
Its permanent exhibition features, in three halls, the traditional culture of the Chinese nation, including the costumes of ethnic groups in northern and southern China and of religious culture. There are also thematic exhibitions highlighting wood carving by ethnic minorities in Taiwan, ancient Chinese characters and the books of ethnic minorities, former famous teachers and the history of the university.
The museum has been devoted to supporting the university’s pedagogy, research and foreign affairs, and to serving society over the past decades.
The university has been increasing its input in terms of the development of the museum in recent years. Efforts have been made to renovate devices, improve its environment with the help of constant temperature and humidity equipment, and promote digitization of the exhibits. The museum is also recruiting more exhibits and stepping up its research into cultural relics.
It has vowed to grow into a modern museum with multiple functions and distinctive ethnic elements, better publicize knowledge of ethnic groups, and promote their art and culture.
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2020