Monday, October 17, 2011
Cham Museum (Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture)
During my 3 day 2 night trip to Hue and Hoi An last September, I passed Da Nang. Its location is within 100 km of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins. Da Nang is the largest city in central Vietnam and one of the country’s most important ports.
It was raining when I arrived at the Cham Museum. Still the museum attracted quite a number of tourists including three Indonesian whom I met at the ticket counter. Small world… Anyway, perhaps Indonesians are not stranger to Da Nang, as I found out from the history that the city’s origins date back to the ancient Champa Kingdom, established by Indonesian settlers in 192 AD. Click this link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Nang
The museum is officially known as the Museum of Champa Sculpture. It is a nice museum building which first building was opened in 1919.
A little bit history about the kingdom of Champa; it was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832. See more info on Champa kingdom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champa
Entering the museum, I started seeing beautiful sculptures. They somehow remind me of Museum Gajah in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The museum collection was begun by French archaelogists and experts from L’École Francaise d’Extrême Orient (EFEO). Some artefacts were sent to Paris and others to the Ha Noi and Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City) museums, but many typical objects were left in Tourane (now Da Nang).
There are so many goddess sculptures in this museum. They are beautiful!! The word “goddess” represents beauty to me. Could it be that those goddess sculptures were made based on real women as models in that century?
This is my favorite goddess sculpture. She is very pretty and elegant in her pose.
There are lots of Garuda bird sculptures. I am interested in Garuda bird as the national emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila. My favorite Garuda sculpture is this Garuda and four-head naga. In Bahasa Indonesia, naga means dragon. So a Garuda bird carries a “four-head dragon”, doesn’t it symbolize its strength..?
This museum trip was not too long, as I had to continue to the next one. Personally, going to a museum is as a refresher to my school lessons, to test my history and geography, oops...
Official website of Cham Museum: http://www.chammuseum.danang.vn/English/Home/tabid/64/Default.aspx