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Cultural Anthropology Museum
 
Do you know that there is Cultural Anthropology Museum at Mahidol University, Salaya Campus? The museum presents history, similarities, and differences of communities, beauty of local wisdom, and works of the institute.


Cultural Anthropology Museum is located on 1st floor of the Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Language and Culture Building, the Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University. The museum has been opened officially on December 24, 2001, when Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn came to attend the opening ceremony of the institute’s building. The museum is “a learning center” where you can learn the history of the Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development (the old name). Most exhibitions in the museum are studies and researches on languages and cultures of ethnic groups.

There are two main parts of exhibition. The fist part is a presentation of the institute’s mission since it was the Project of Southeast Asian Cultural Research Center. It begins with a study of ethnic minority group languages in Thailand. Language is a window to understand diversity of ethnic group cultures in rural areas which is an important basis of Thai society, and a factor for lifelong rural development. Moreover, it shows curriculum and teaching in later period, researches, academic service, and cultural nourishment.


The second part is a replica of village and natural beauty of rural area that shows differences and local wisdom of the villagers. The village begins with an entrance of the village which is a symbol of warm welcome before entering this village. Next to the entrance are houses. Each house has space under the house, where villagers make crafts and do various activities. There is also a collection of utensils of ethnic minority groups such as dishes, bowls, chopsticks, etc. They show easy lifestyle of the ethnic minority group. The house is made of tied-bamboo sticks, which has a unique gable on the roof. The backyard is where the owner of the house keeps foods and herbs. The couyard is where the villagers play beautiful music or children play games. The people’s faces show variation of ethnic groups in Thailand.

Another room is “Stone Inscription Open Exhibition: how mankind recorded their knowledge”. It is a concrete evident that not only human communicated by speech, but also by recording messages in written form since ancient time.

 

The Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University, has selected inscribed stones that contain various kinds of knowledge of human civilization in ancient time for exhibition in an open area inside the Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Language and Culture Building. Knowledge appear on the stones indicates diversity of recorded languages. There are hieroglyphics about rice growing, culture, gold forging, beer drinking, pottery, and conversations of ancient Egyptians. There are admiration words for athletes and a list of foreign students in Greek civilization. Also, there are evident of time calculation and calendar of Maya civilization.

In Eastern civilization, there is Oracle Bone which is Chinese inscription of prediction on a turtle shell, and an inscription that indicates ruling system of Thailand in ancient time. In conclusion, Cultural Anthropology Museum of the Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University, can be compared with a movie trailer. It is a summary and a sitting room for guests of the institute.

 

The museum is open daily Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. with free access

 
Contact : Mr. Ekapong Suwannaket Tel. 0-2800-2308-14 ext. 3114
  Ms. Ampai Nulek Tel. 0-2800-2341, 0-2800-2308-14 ext. 3214, 322
  Ms. Wassana Suaykred Tel. 0-2800-2308-14 ext. 3209
 
 

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