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The Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology of National Taiwan University reopens in November 2010. The major portion of its collection came from the collection of the Institute of Ethnology, Taihoku Imperial University under Japanese rule. When Taihoku Imperial University was renamed National Taiwan University (“NTU”) and soon after the Department of Anthropology was established, such portion has become the core collection of the Department of Anthropology, NTU.

Our collection consists of artifacts, photos, films, recording, etc. A majority of photos and films have been catalogued and become accessible through internet. When our collection was previously exhibited at Dongdong Building(洞洞館), there were two rooms housing archaeological artifacts and ethnological artifacts respectively. At current location, you will see here only ‘Ethnology Hall’. ‘Archeology Hall’ will be open in the near future.

The pioneer scholar of Taiwan indigenous cultures, Ino Kanori, procured the earliest portion of the 5,000 and more ethnological artifacts housed in this Museum in 1895. Ino’s collection includes an Atatyl banner signaling success in headhunting, shell beaded garments as well as Pingpu carvings and ornaments that are rarely seen today. Since the Institute of Ethnology was set up in 1928, discipline inspired systematic collection began.

Current exhibition starts from the first floor. ‘Archeological Fieldworks’ and ‘Ethnological Fieldworks’ section employ photos dating back to the Imperial University era to show the processes of fieldwork and the usual contexts that archaeologists and anthropologists work and acquire material embodiments of a culture.

Along the stairway to the second floor, photos are again employed to provide a brief introduction to the history and special features of the Department of Anthropology and its collection. Ethnology Hall is on the second floor. Before going into the Hall, there are a map of Austronesian speaking world, photos of islands and seascapes and a cabinet of artifacts from the Pacific Islands receiving visitors into the Austronesian world. Then, there is the Ethnology Hall exhibiting the material cultures of Austronesian speaking Taiwan Indigenous Peoples.

Large and T-shaped cabinets hold artifacts from almost all fourteen groups of indigenous peoples. Two sections at the two ends of the Hall display ceramic pots, and stone and wooden carvings respectively. Wall-to-wall photos of a large body of water providing a sense of space lived by Thao and Yami(Tao) , paddlers of vessels on display. Since the majority of our collection was gathered during the Japanese era, and a small portion was acquired in the 1950s and 1960s, Gallery of Time strives to bridge between the time at collecting and the time at exhibition, thus brings up the issue of cultural continuity and creation. There are also a continuous viewing of a powerpoint briefing of the exhibition and two computers providing access to a database of artifacts on display.

The Museum of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, NTU originally a research and teaching facility has transformed into a university museum serving public as well as academia. In this new location, with a new mission and new ideas of exhibition, we endeavor to facilitate and enhance cross-cultural understanding.

Digital Collection Database (數位典藏資料庫)

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