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Kim Lan pottery village has its own museum | Kim Lan Ceramics

Đã cập nhật: 4 thg 7, 2023


Kim Lan pottery village, located in Gia Lam, Hanoi, now boasts a magnificent addition to its cultural landscape—a museum dedicated to its rich heritage. This remarkable milestone was celebrated on March 20, 2012, with the inauguration of the Community Museum.The driving force behind this endeavor was none other than the esteemed archaeologist, Dr. Nishimura Masha Nari.

Kim Lan Comunity ceramic museum / Mr Nhung and Admin Nguyen Ngoc Phong
Kim Lan Comunity ceramic museum / Mr Nhung and Admin Nguyen Ngoc Phong

Kim Lan pottery village has its own museum, which was inaugurated on March 20, 2012, a momentous occasion for Dr. Nishimura Masha Nari. The 87-year-old Mr. Hong, a retired ceramicist, had been collecting ancient pottery shards along the riverbank near his home for 16 years. According to him, whenever he found a piece of ancient pottery, he would bring it home.


With time, he started assembling these shards, using adhesive to join those with similar thickness and patterns. Along with some fellow villagers who were also skilled in pottery, they helped Mr. Hong in his endeavor.


They all possessed a deep understanding of the characteristics of ancient pottery, such as its thickness, different types of clay, glazes, and designs. Mr. Hong's son followed in his father's footsteps, continuing the tradition of bringing home ancient pottery fragments.


Community Archaeology:


Ancient Object in Kim Lan community Museum
Ancient Object in Kim Lan community Museum

"By engaging in archaeology, people can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their local traditions. They can discover archaeological evidence in their own communities, providing excellent material for research," said Associate Professor Nguyen Giang Hai, Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology.


The pottery collecting stories did not end there. In the year 2000, Mr. Hong and some villagers sent a letter to archaeology institutions and the Museum of History, informing them about the pottery fragments found in the nearby fields. This surprised and fascinated the researchers, as they discovered a continuous history of pottery spanning ten centuries, from the 8th to the 18th century. Similar to the findings in Kim Lan, when the ancient citadel of Thang Long was excavated, bricks similar to those found in Kim Lan were also unearthed.


"In this area, we found traces of pottery production and settlement. We discovered numerous pottery vessels, particularly the Cao Bien dynasty to the 18th century. Moreover, we found high-quality ceramics with orchid motifs, which is significant as it represents the first evidence of the production of such fine ceramics in the 14th century," commented Dr. Bui Minh Tri, Director of the Center for Citadel Studies.


Ts Nishimura Masanari và Kim Lan Villagers ( Mrs Hợp (Sinh) - Mrs Hồng (Canh) - Mrs Tỉn - Mr Ni-Shi - Mrs Cúc - Mrs Năm (Mơ ).
Ts Nishimura Masanari và Kim Lan Villagers ( Mrs Hợp (Sinh) - Mrs Hồng (Canh) - Mrs Tỉn - Mr Ni-Shi - Mrs Cúc - Mrs Năm (Mơ ).

This connection with archaeology brought Dr. Nishimura to the pottery village, where he met the passionate Mr. Hong. He also met Associate Professor Nguyen Giang Hai, who shared a common interest in history and profession. This encounter was the beginning of their involvement in community archaeology, realizing that ordinary people can actively participate in archaeology and gain a deeper understanding and love for their local traditions. They could uncover archaeological traces in their communities, contributing invaluable materials for research.


When Dr. Nishimura and Mr. Hong met in 2000, they immediately realized they shared a common interest in studying history. Mr. Hong had practical knowledge, while Dr. Nishimura had theoretical expertise. Mr. Hong provided significant materials for Dr. Nishimura, a Japanese researcher who completed his doctoral dissertation on Vietnam. In his dissertation, Dr. Nishimura dedicated an entire chapter to the ancient pottery village of Kim Lan.


One common practice in community archaeology projects is to establish a storage room or museum at the local level. Dr. Nishimura always aspired to create such a space for Kim Lan. He sought funding from Japan for the community archaeology project, and now the museum has been successfully built.


The displayed artifacts include items unearthed by professional archaeologists as well as those found by local villagers, including Mr. Hong. Mr. Hong shared his motivation behind contributing his findings to the museum, saying, "I want to donate these artifacts to the museum so that future generations can learn about our ancestors' craft and be reminded of our profession."


Mr Takenori - Sponsor for Kim Lan ceramic Museum
Mr Takenori - Sponsor for Kim Lan ceramic Museum

"Some people have concerns about establishing community archaeology projects in Vietnam, doubting the level of education and self-awareness among the local population. However, the reality of archaeology in Kim Lan proves the opposite. The people of Vietnam are fully capable of engaging in community archaeology. The inauguration of the museum marks the first successful achievement of a community archaeology project in the country, as stated by Professor Nguyen Giang Hai.


The story of Kim Lan pottery village and its journey into archaeology demonstrates the power of community involvement in preserving and understanding local heritage. It showcases how ordinary individuals like Mr. Hong can play a significant role in unearthing historical artifacts and contributing to the broader field of archaeology. The museum stands as a testament to the collective efforts of the community and the collaboration between local residents and professional researchers.

Through their engagement in archaeology, the people of Kim Lan not only gain knowledge about their own cultural traditions but also develop a deep sense of appreciation for their heritage. They become active participants in uncovering the archaeological evidence that helps paint a more comprehensive picture of the region's history.


The tale of Dr. Nishimura's encounter with Mr. Hong and the subsequent establishment of the museum serves as an inspiration for future community archaeology initiatives in Vietnam. It highlights the potential for local residents to contribute their knowledge and findings to the preservation and study of their cultural heritage.


The museum in Kim Lan stands as a physical manifestation of the community's dedication to their ancestral craft and a source of pride for the villagers. It provides a platform for locals and visitors alike to learn about the rich history of Kim Lan pottery and appreciate the craftsmanship of their predecessors.


In conclusion, the story of Kim Lan pottery village and its museum exemplifies the possibilities that emerge when communities actively participate in archaeology. It shows that ordinary people can become the driving force behind the discovery, preservation, and understanding of their own cultural heritage. The success of the Kim Lan community archaeology project in Vietnam sets a precedent for similar endeavors, fostering a deeper connection between people, their traditions, and the historical legacies that shape their identities.


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Địa chỉ: Số 05,Ngõ 169, Kim Lan, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội

Hotline: Ms Huong 0962.334.368 (Zalo)

Mr Phong 0977.373.386 (Whatsapp)

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