This collection represents the crafts, arts, traditions, beliefs, and practices of living cultures around the world
The world ethnology collection of approximately 5,000 objects derives from cultures outside the Americas. Objects in the world ethnology collection come from every corner of the earth, although three subcollections represent the most significant holdings.
African collections. The 1,500 African objects center on Central and Southern Africa with special attention to cultures from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Botswana. Figures, carvings, raffia cloth and masks are highlighted from the Bakuba, Baluba, Songye and Ndegese of the DROC. Clothing, tools and weapons from the San, Tswana, Herero, Hambukushu, Bayei and Basubiya are the focus of a significant number of objects from Botswana. Other highlights include a collection of carved bronze figures from Liberia, Yoruba masks and statues from Nigeria, weaponry of East Africa, and beadwork from the Zulu and Southern Ndebele in South Africa.
Asian collections. The Southeast Asian collection of more than 1,000 objects is the Museum’s most significant world ethnographic holding, outside of the Native American collections. Collected during the last 40 years, it represents a systematic, documented holding from the Hmong, Mien, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, and Karen hill tribes of the northern margins of Thailand, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, and southwestern China. Small groups of Asian objects illustrate scattered peoples and traits of Han (China), aboriginal Taiwanese, Japanese, South Asian (India, Bangladesh), Indonesian, and Philippine Indigenous cultures.
Oceanic and Australian collections. About 700 objects make up this smallest and perhaps most diverse Denver Museum of Nature & Science ethnology holding. It illustrates the main materials, technologies, forms, and designs used during the early to mid-20th century by the peoples of Pacific Ocean islands from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea and the continent of Australia.