National Museum holds exhibition on Kazakhstan civilization

By Choi Ji-won
  • Published : Nov 29, 2018 - 14:32
  • Updated : Nov 29, 2018 - 14:32

The National Museum of Korea is hosting an exhibition with the Republic of Kazakhstan, highlighting the civilization of the great plains of Kazakhstan and the cultural heritage of its people.

In the exhibition “Kazakhstan-The Cradleland of the ‘Golden Man,’” the National Museum presents more than 450 pieces of relics representing the nomadic civilization’s culture and history spanning prehistoric times to the modern era.

Kazakhstan’s iconic “Golden Man” is displayed with full vestment (Yonhap)

The first of the exhibition’s three sections showcases ancient pieces of jewelry discovered in various parts of the plains, including the full vestment of the famous “Golden Man,” a warrior whose body was found intact in a burial mound in Issyk kurgan (burial mounds). These treasures have been on a touring exhibition around the world, visiting Russia, Azerbaijan and China since last December.

The second segment focuses on how the steppe people developed their culture and lifestyle. In the plains of Central Asia, Eastern and Western cultures mingled, and various tribes constantly clashed. The exhibition provides a viewpoint on how the steppe civilization flourished on this unstable ground. 

Kazakhs’ traditional bridal costumes (Yonhap)

South Korea’s treasure No. 635, Geumjegamjangbogeom -- a sword that resembles those found in Central Asia and is believed to have descended from the surrounding area -- is displayed along with heritage from Kazakhstan.

Relics representing the joys and sorrows of the nomadic civilization decorate the last section. A formation of yurt -- the temporary housing where the nomadic people lived in between migration -- traditional rugs, attires and instruments give an insight into how the pastoral people maintained their livelihoods.

The interior of a yurt is shown at the exhibition “Kazakhstan-The Cradleland of the ‘Golden Man.’” (Yonhap)

The exhibition briefly introduces in the epilogue the history of the Kazakhs of Korean ethnic background, better known as “Koryoin,” the descendants of Koreans who were mass relocated from Russia’s Far East in 1937 under Joseph Stalin’s forced migration policy.

The exhibition is being held at the Permanent Exhibition Hall in the Special Exhibition Gallery of the museum and continues through Feb. 24 next year. Admission fees are 4,000 won ($3.50) for adults over 24, and 2,000 won for those under 24. For more information, visit the National Museum of Korea website.

By Choi Ji-won (