As part of the 2013 Quang Nam Festival, Hoi An recently held an exhibit showcasing millennium-old antiques, which was also meant to show support for An Giang province’s bid to earn the ancient Oc Eo culture the UNESCO recognition as a tangible cultural heritage.
According to Doan Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam UNESCO Antique Research and Preservation Center, the exhibit featured some 2,000 antique artifacts representing three of the country’s hallmark ancient cultures, Dong Son, Sa Huynh and Oc Eo.
The antiques included bronze drums, weaponry, musical instruments, working tools, jewelry and pottery.
The exhibit boasted more than 1,000 items, 75% of which originated from the Oc Eo culture.
“All the antiques, which have been exhibited in many places more than 200 times, are owned by the center’s members, which proves the increasing awareness of safeguarding the country’s traditional cultural identity among locals,” Tuan told The Thao va Van Hoa.
The Dong Son was a prehistoric Bronze Age culture in Vietnam which was centered in the Hong River Valley in the north. Its influence was also found in other parts of Southeast Asia, including the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, from about 1000 BC to 1 BC. It’s most well-known and prized antique is the Dong Son bronze drum.
To the south of the Dong Son was the Sa Huynh, which was centered in what is today central and southern Vietnam and thrived between 1000 BC and 200 AD.
The Oc Eo culture was mostly located in the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang, Kien Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho and Bac Lieu and part of Cambodia.