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Vietnam’s iconic bronze drums showcased in S. Korea

Saturday, May 03, 2014, 17:11 GMT+7
Vietnam’s iconic bronze drums showcased in S. Korea
An almost 2000-year-old Dong Son drum

An exhibition running in Seoul from April 29 to June 29 showcases Vietnam’s hallmark bronze drums and offers a chance to glimpse through the origins of ancient Vietnam culture.

The exhibit, “Ancient Civilization in Vietnam, the Early Morning in Red River,” which is running at the National Museum of Korea (located near exit 2 of Ichon Station, subway line 4 or Jungang line), also highlights several of the similarities with ancient Korea.

The exhibition highlights the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age cultures which thrived during the Dong Son era of ancient Vietnam, around 1,000 B.C. to A.D. 100.

Centered at the Red River Valley in northern Vietnam, the Dong Son culture was a Bronze Age culture in ancient Vietnam. The culture’s influence flourished to other parts of Southeast Asia.

The exhibit features around 380 artifacts from, including 14 bronze drums, earthenware, accessories and everyday objects in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, which are kept at the Museum of Vietnamese History in Ho Chi Minh City.

The drums, the Dong Son Culture’s signature artifacts and one of the country’s cultural icons, are adorned with a sun in the center and engraved with rich other decorative patterns.

The drums were initially created as musical instruments, but were later used as a medium of trade or currency and were also considered objects of worship.

The body of the items is also engraved with images which reflect ancient Vietnamese people’s lifestyle, such as dancing, playing musical instruments and boarding ships.

The exhibition is composed of three parts: prehistoric Vietnam prior to Dong Son culture; Dong Son culture and the Red River; and the Bronze Age in central and southern Vietnam.

The fruits of joint academic research between Vietnamese archeologist and the National Museum of Korea are also showcased.

The exhibit is admission-free and is closed every Monday. Detailed information is available at the museum’s homepage http://www.museum.go.kr/ or by phoning number (02) 2077-9552.

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