2015

Museums of Ethnology and Their Classification

Translator Note: American Anthropology in late 19 century still regarded “cultural evolution” as the mainstream of thought. It also influenced on the system of exhibition in museums. Meanwhile, Franz Boas’ criticism on the ideas of exhibition of Professor Otis T. Mason, curator of Smithsonian Institution, challenged the classification of stage-based material evolution. As the “Founder of Americ...

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Seeing in Visual Thick Description: Visual Ethnography, Museums and Retrospective Exhibition on the Documentaries of China’s Ethnic Minorities


This article illuminates the “retrospective exhibition on the documentaries on China’s ethnic minorities” organized by the Chinese National Museum of Ethnology in 2014 through an approach of ethnography. It describes the purpose, preparation, negotiations among various agencies who are involved in exhibition, and the exploration, adjustment and compromise to relevant policies for th...

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How Visual Collections Impacts Traditional Value of Museums

How to express the “material objectivity” of a museum, if visual images are to be stored into a museum based on collections of objects? This article demonstrates the necessity of visual images for museums, via multiple angles of contemporary collections of intangible cultural heritages, humanism value of museums in new age, and change of narratives of museums as well.


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21st Century: Responsibility, Mission and Vision of Culture

Through video collections of reindeer-breeding peoples such as Ewenki and Oroqen, and the visual documentation program of the Chinese National Museum of Ethnology entitled “Cultural research and relics collecting of five cross-border ethnic groups in Northeast China”, this article stresses that preservation of “cultural heritage” is not to “reconstruct myth of ethnic groups”, but to explore “im...

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A Sketch of the Administrative Division of Ordos in Different Dynasties

Ordos was called “He Nan Di (South land of the river)” and “Xin Qin Zhong (New central Qin)”in the past. The well-known name today was confirmed in mid 15 century when Ordos Mongol tribe migrated from the north of the desert to present region. In 1649, Qing Government divided the local Mongols into six banners, and called them Yikezhao Meng (Yikezhao meaning Grand Temple in Chinese), for which ...

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Environmental Changes and the Proto-complicated Society in Western Liao River Region

The western Liao River region is one of the places where human civilizations originated. Starting from Xiaohexi Culture and Xinglongwa Culture, this region has developed Zhaobaogou Culture, Hongshan Culture, Fuhe Culture, Xiaoheyan Culture, Weiyingzi Culture and Xiajiadian Culture consecutively. It is a very long historical process of the formation of the early complex society in the western Li...

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