Arts and Ethnology Centre
Arts and Ethnology Centre is the only independent non-profit museum and resource centre in Lao PDR dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the traditional arts and lifestyles of the country’s ethnic groups. Permanent exhibitions feature traditional textiles and clothing, jewellery, religious artefacts, handicraft tools, baskets, photography and household objects.
The museum offers visitors a rare glimpse into the life of Laotian people giving a greater understanding to their richly diverse culture with quotes, photos and videos bringing the exhibits to life. It is small in size but packed with interesting and informative pieces which are organised to an international standard. The museum shop operates on a fair-trade basis by providing local craftsmen and women with an opportunity to sell their hand-made goods with a stock of around 500 products supporting a number of families across Laos.
There are over 400 exhibits documenting the life and times of 30 ethnic groups at the Arts and Ethnology Centre all supporting Laos’ varied cultural heritage. Special exhibitions at the museum are well worth a visit and often showcase ceremonies and rituals such as the recent “From Courtship to Kinship: Wedding Celebrations of Laos’ Ethnic Groups”. Displays at the Courtship to Kinship exhibit included the wedding crown of Kim Di Mun which was crafted from human hair and pure silver, superb documentary-style photography and detailed explanations of the customs and rituals added to the depth of this acclaimed exhibition.
Opening Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday at 09:00-18:00
Location: behind the Dara market at the bottom of Phou Si Hill at 335 Ban Khamyong in the centre of Luang Prabang
Remarks: The museum shop sells artisan handicrafts made by villagers and is also a great place to grab a taste of traditional ethnic minority dishes at Le Patio Café. Exhibit translations are in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish and are available free of charge.