The Inner Mongolian Museum
June 6, 2008 10:00am CST
The Inner Mongolian Museum (Neimenggu bowuguan) is the largest and best museum in Inner Mongolia, boasting a good selection of ethnic Mongolian items, and a historical lineage of this vast grassland province. Although not arranged in the most logical of order, the museum contains a variety of interesting exhibitions that should keep you interested. The captions in the museum are unfortunately only in Chinese and Mongolian, but most of the pieces pretty much speak for themselves. The ground floor exhibits can generally be categorised into four. The first section is a display of imperial garments and ornaments of past Mongolian kings and their relatives. The second section exhibits a good variety of folk artifacts and relics from the generations of people living on the grasslands. These include hunting and sports implements (saddles, leather overcoats & even polo sticks), a Daur shaman's costume, a model yurt (Mongolian tent), costumes, cooking implements, an Oroqen teepee and more. The third section takes you back further into the province's past, with one of China's best selections of fossilized remains, mainly of animals and dinosaurs. The two most interesting exhibits are the patched up mammoth skeleton (with bits of plaster inconspicuously replacing missing bits), that was dug out from a mine in the nearby village of Manzhouli, and China's largest dinosaur remains, a giant brontosaurus. The final section, the obvious addition by Communist China, is a record of what the Han Chinese have managed to achieve in the province since the 1950s and the CCP consolidation of power. The second floor is a display of the history of the province in ancient times. Most of the exhibits here are dedicated to telling the story of the Khan's, Genghis and Kublai, and the rise and fall of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD). There are a good display of maps showing the hordes sweeping enlarging of their empire, that at one time stretched as far as Turkey. There are further floors to the building, but these are closed off to general public.