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Guangxi Museum of Nationalities

 
There are many ways to experience ethnic culture in China. The most direct is to plunge into an ethnic village or town to immerse into the local life before they are assimilated or disappear, or time your visit during their festivals. But to save time and energy, you can embark on an enlightening journey to ethnic museums.
 
 
Located in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi, Guangxi Museum of Nationalities is the best place to demystify Guangxi’s 12 indigenous ethnicities including Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong. Fashioned after a bronze drum, a cultural symbol shared by Miao, Zhuang and Dong people, this iconic landmark of Nanning is a fantastic ethnic cultural oasis. Inside of it, a wealth of ethnic attires, silver ornaments, batik handicrafts, embroidery works, labor tools, masks and architecture are presented artistically.
 
 
You can see over 2000 bronze drums spanning over two millennia, over 15000 sets of ethnic attires, 2500 pieces of silverwares, 4500 sets of labor tools, 2200 embroidery masterpieces and 2500 sets of religious items here, such as the ritual costumes, masks, incarnation paintings, sculptures, sutra and spell books.
 
 
guangxi museum of nationalities
 


The collection of ethnic attires housed in Guangxi Museum of Nationalities is the biggest in China. Among which, Miao, Zhuang, Yao and Dong people’s attires worthy of recommendation in particular. Besides the basic functions, these attires not only mirror the living environment, history, traditions, customs and taste of these ethnicities, but also indicate genders, ages and marriage status. Hence, it is no exaggeration to say they are the encyclopedia, epics and living fossils of a nationality.
 
guangxi museum of nationalities
 
 


Ornaments and accessories, the most defining and indispensible part of ethnic attires, contribute to their extravagant glamour and roughly fall into three categories: embroidery, silver ornament and batik. Among the over 2200 embroidery pieces here, most belong to the prestigious Zhuang, Miao, Dong and Maonan brocade. Zhuang Brocade, one of the Top Four Brocade in China, is a highlight. With impeccable craftsmanship, elaborate layout, intriguing designs and mysterious motifs, these embroidery handicrafts will inspire and mesmerize the spectators easily. For historians and scholars, they hold the key to decode the secret of a nationality.
 
miao silver ornamentmiao silver ornament
miao silver ornamentmiao silver ornament
Silver Ornaments of Miao PeopleSilver Ornaments of Miao People
 
 
 



Silver ornaments in this museum come in great variety, such as headgears, necklaces, bracelets, hairpins and neck rings, these state-of-the-art masterpieces largely come from Miao, Zhuang,Yao and Dong people. If you want to see the most gorgeous silver ornaments still in use today, head for Shidong Miao Village during Sisters’ Meal Festival.
 
dong people silver ornament
dong people silver ornamentdong people silver ornament
dong people silver ornamentdong people silver ornament
Dong People's Silver OrnamentsDong People's Silver Ornaments



You can also sample the folk music, dances, festivals as well as love and marriage customs through life-size models and vivid scenes here. Zhuang people’s embroidered balls, bronze drums, frescos and Grass Dragon Dance, Miao people’s Stilt House, silver ornaments, dances and festivals, Dong people’s folk architecture including Wind-Rain Bridge and Drum Tower, Yao people’s Long Drum Dance will keep you occupied like magnet.
 
guangxi museum of nationalities
Grass Dragon Dance of Zhuang people
guangxi museum of nationalities
Long Drum Dance of Yao people
guangxi museum of nationalities
Yao people's wedding
guangxi museum of nationalities
Reed-Pipe Dance of Dong people
 guangxi museum of nationalities
 Drum Towers and Wind-Rain Bridge of Dong People
guangxi museum of nationalities
Masks used during exorcism and worship rituals
guangxi museum of nationalities
Zhuang Brocade



 
Another highlight of this museum is the bronze drum, the symbol of power and wealth, which emerged over 2700 years ago in Guangxi and still prevails among Zhuang,Miao and Dong people in southwest China. Bronze drums are widely-used during festival, wedding, ancestral worship, wartime and funnels. By far, over 2000 pieces of bronze drums have been unearthed in Guangxi, spanning a history from Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-221BC) to late Qing dynasty (1636-1911). In this museum, you can see the biggest bronze drum in the world. Besides, you can also see many labor activities including weaving, spinning, fishing, paper-making, oil distracting as well as pottery and ceramic making.
 
 
guangxi museum of nationalities
 Guangxi Museum of Nationalities is home to over 2000 bronze drums. 
guangxi museum of nationalities
 Among which the one weighing over 150kg is the biggest on earth. The bigger the drum, the more powerful and awe-inspiring it is.
guagnxi museum nationalites
Decorations on Bronze Drums
 
guangxi musuem of nationalities
 
guangxi musuem of nationalities
 
guangxi musuem of nationalities
 
guangxi musuem of nationalities
 
 
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