Introduction to Research Museum of Ethnography
The Research Museum of Ethnographic is located in Shah Bobo Jan Palace in Kabul city. This palace is a live history from the era of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, known as Amir’s sister.
The characteristic of the palace in terms of structure turns to Renaissance Brook style. The palace was designed by Austrian and German engineers in that era and Kabuli architects and skilled artisans have launched building this palace. Keeping the structure of the building into view, this building is divided into two main eastern and western parts that connected with continuous atrium.
The building is incredibly beautiful and apparently connected to the entrance door from the north wing. The entrance of the palace has decorated with the gigantic pillars and the wide corridor is evident at the second floor, which is the beginning of the palace's interior decoration.
The two-story palace has forty corridors and spacious salons. The palace's building typically consists of clay, flowers and wood, with carvings and carved adornments.
The second floor is being surrounded by golden footages made of wood and its roof is adorned with flowers, leaves and animals pictures and double-glazed windows are decorated with golden mini lattice decorations which reveal the style of the Renaissance architecture. It is worth mentioning that till the end of sixth decade, the west part of the palace in front of the stares located between the two floors are witness to crystal mirrors that is also installed in the second floor’s salon. These mirrors have been carried from Indian by the elephant at that time. Unfortunately, due to abject civil conflict in Kabul city, a big portion of this build has drastically been damaged.
The Academy of Sciences as a highest scientific institution in Afghanistan in order to preserve the cultural heritage of the country as well as creating a cultural venue for the museum, paved the opportunity to rehabilitate the palace. As per the former president decree, this palace is being used as research museum of ethnography.
Over the past 3 years, the museum has kept open to researchers and visitors who are truly enthusiasts in science and culture zone. The museum encompasses around 1000 pieces of ethnic monuments from various provinces of Afghanistan which has been collected as per the geographical region of the country and has exposed to the show. The mentioned monuments such as cloths, decorations and ornaments, house appliances and metal works such as light weapons, knife, sword, in different categories have collected, described and been added to the museum’s database. Meanwhile, the most exquisite works that came from Kandahar, Konarhar, Nooristan, Nangarhar, areas and ethnic monuments related to northern zone came from Khargah Qazaqi and Physic-i- Torkman also have exposed to show. However, hundred types of handi-crafts corresponding to different ethnics (Pashon, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Nooristani, Pashahi etc) have introduced and currently are present in the museum. The significance of monuments represents the characteristics of fine arts of ethnics in this ancient and historical land.
The Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan with the consideration of potential development of cultural affairs in the country not has only paid attention to enrich this museum by decoration of ethnic monuments, but presence of hundreds of precious modern art obtained through donation, has also exposed to show in this cultural and academic environment. It is worth mentioning that the modern art which exists in this museum depicts the clear trait of various art dimensions and skills in Afghanistan.
The Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan is trying to further spread the sense of future perceptiveness among the young generation to use it for better understanding of various fine arts created and exposed to show in their country. As matter of fact, this museum not only considers as a museum of art gallery but also it is found as a real source of information in academic sphere in the country. The museum of ethnography has continuously been tried to provide the opportunity for strengthening the culture of study in order to learn the art and history of Afghanistan and maintaining it a useful way for the profoundly interested people in the region and the globe. Whatever the fact in relation to ethnography museum is the presence of colorful works of art in this museum which represents a diversified culture of all ethnics in the society. Therefore, the works of art with respect to their material, artistic and ethical values are presented in this museum. The achievements of this museum over the recent years (1396-1393) shows a serious research in a comprehensive way to boost and direct the fun of arts in this academic institution such as collection of high quality of ethnic art from various provinces and regions of the country through researchers and teachers, describing of monuments in two different languages, preserving the work of art in professional method, printing of 4 volumes of museum’s information, printing of museum’s brochures and provision of ticket for visitors from museum. Other achievements are embracing the work on Atlas Ethnography based on the approval of academic board of Academy of Sciences and establishment of an open museum and obtaining of new work of arts with description.
The Academy of Sciences as scientific research institution in the country has the responsibility to enhance and expand the various fields of sciences, skills, knowledge and the best culture of this land nationally and globally. This academic institution along side of its research and scientific objectives is also focusing on formulation of cultural research in Afghan community and further tries to spread and expand this culture through various ways and means such as creative works had been done in ethnography museum over the past 3 years.
Last but not the least, the research museum of ethnography of Academy of Sciences as a first research museum in Afghanistan attempts to be useful for its counterparts and expand the research dimension for investigators and enthusiasts.
Thank you very much
Director of the research museum of ethnography