The Highland People Discovery Museum

Highland Discovery Museum Tour Chiang Mai Thailand with Lifelong Learning Payap

The Highland People Discovery Museum


This museum reflects a period of extensive interest in the cultures of diverse ethnic groups living in remote areas of northern Thailand and neighboring countries. In the 1960s the Tribal Research Institute was established under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior on the grounds of Chiang Mai University. It facilitated cooperation and exchange of research within the context of development and change. Supported by many organizations including the Ford Foundation, Asia Foundation and SEATO, it linked research by academics to organizations having a long history in the area, particularly, Christian missions that crossed borders. And, due to development of these remote areas under the leadership of HM King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, Rama IX, knowledge of the highland peoples became a national priority.

As a result, documentation and collections were moved to a dedicated center to create an archive and museum to preserve and share knowledge of the hill area cultures with local communities. It includes exhibitions featuring the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Karen, Mien, Hmong, Lawa, Thin, Khmu and Mlabri peoples and offers reconstructions of their living spaces in the extensive gardens.


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