If you have always wanted to know about the unique and fascinating lifestyles of the indigenous people living in the country but did not have the time and money to go to the remote places to see them firsthand then you should know about a short visit to a place in Chittagong. It would save you the time and money. A visit to the Ethnological Museum in Chittagong could make that possible.
Our indigenous people live in Chittagong hill tracts, Mymensing, Netrokona, Sylhet and Rajshahi divisions. The museum at the Agrabad area of Chittagong currently displays objects of 27 indigenous groups of the country. Objects of 11 other indigenous groups of India, Pakistan, Australia and Kyrgyzstan are also currently being displayed.
Objects of the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Bom, Monipuri, Saotal, and the Garo are displayed in four galleries and a hall-room in the museum built on 1.30 acres of land. The collection includes household tools, weapons, dresses, musical instruments and ornaments. Different festivals and daily-lives of different people are displayed in dioramas.
Established in the 1960s, the museum first opened its door to visitors in 1974. However, visitors declined over time due to lack of new collection and poor publicity. While it used to draw a total of 7000 visitors monthly in the 1990s, currently the number hovers around 3000 visitors.
A Tk 3 crore project has been taken in 2014 to increase the collection and modernize the displays. After completion of the project in 2017, the visitor number would increase, believe museum authorities.