gnb content footer

home

News Focus

Culture

Culture

Naju National Museum opens its doors

Naju recently opened a museum that brings together the essence of the ancient culture that developed along the Yeongsangang River. On November 22, the Naju National Museum opened its doors, becoming the first ever national museum in the province.

Naju is a city in western Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province). The city is representative of the Jeolla region, as evidenced by the fact that the name “Jeolla” itself comes from an acronym joining the “Jeon-” from “Jeonju,” a city in Jeollabuk-do (North Jeolla Province), with the “-Na,” pronounced as “-La,” from “Naju.” The region’s name comes from the joining of the cities of Jeonju and Naju.

Naju boasts beautiful nature, such as the Yeongsangang River which traverses the city and the vast Naju plains that stretch along the riverside. The picturesque scenery harmoniously mingles with the river and the plains to provide an ideal spot for cultural enrichment.

In particular, Bannam-myeon (Bannam Village) in northern Naju is home to an ancient burial site which is believed to have been built around the 4th or 5th centuries. The site is considered to be the cradle of “pottery-shaped tumulous jar coffins,” called ongwan. An ongwan is a large earthenware coffin.

Many such jar coffins have been found in areas along the Yeongsangang River, including in the Bannam area. It shows how ancient peoples of the region developed quite different, unique kinds of coffins back then. Interestingly, some similar artifacts have been excavated across the East Sea in Japan, too. This is believed to be the result of ancient trade patterns.

Naju_Museum_Opening_01.jpg
The Naju National Museum opens on November 22. It will be the 12th national museum in Korea. (photos courtesy of the Naju National Museum)

The Naju National Museum opens on November 22. It will be the 12th national museum in Korea. (photos courtesy of the Naju National Museum)


The new museum is designed to introduce the historical flow of the region and to accentuate aspects of its distinctive culture that developed in this scenic and geographic setting.

The museum is adjacent to other cultural treasures that trace back more than 1,500 years, including ancient tomb sites in the nearby counties of Bannam-myeon and Boarm-ri, and Jamisanseong, a fortress on Jamisan Mountain.

Naju_Museum_Opening_03.jpg
(Top) The exhibition hall on the first floor of the Naju National Museum. (Bottom) Earthenware coffins excavated from the Naju area are on exhibit. (photos courtesy of the Naju National Museum)

(Top) The exhibition hall on the first floor of the Naju National Museum. (Bottom) Earthenware coffins excavated from the Naju area are on exhibit. (photos courtesy of the Naju National Museum)


The two-story building divides its exhibition space into two. Exhibition Hall Ⅰ on the ground floor dissects the history of Jeollanam-do into four sections. Among the items on display are relics such as a gilt-bronze crown excavated from the 9th tomb at Sinchon-ri and gold-plated accessories, gilt-bronze shoes and silverware from Bogam-ri.

On exhibit along with those items are a gilt-bronze headpiece and other items from the Andong Tomb in Goheung. All of this shows the active trade that went on between the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C.– A.D. 660), the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. –A.D. 935) and the various ancient kingdoms of Japan.

토기, 칼 등 전시유물들.(사진 국립나주박물관)

The glass-walled exhibition space allows people to view the jar coffins up close. (photo courtesy of the Naju National Museum)


Naju_Museum_Opening_06.jpg

On display are earthenware and swords. (photo courtesy of the Naju National Museum)

A gilt-bronze crown excavated from the 9th tomb at Sinchon-ri is on display in the first-floor exhibition hall. (photo courtesy of the Naju National Museum)

A gilt-bronze crown from the Baekje Kingdom that was excavated from the 9th tomb at Sinchon-ri is on display in the first-floor exhibition hall. (photo courtesy of the Naju National Museum)


The underground Exhibition Hall II presents a glass-walled exhibition area where viewers can observe up close how the treasures are being stored and maintained. The lower floor also welcomes visitors to enjoy the special collection of items that highlights the heyday of ancient Naju culture. It was the epicenter of administration, economics and culture of ancient Jeollanam-do.

The Naju National Museum is also technically advanced and provides an information technology and communications technology-based museum guide service. It introduced the first-ever near field communication (NFC) system at a national museum. Through this, people can download an app for their phones that gives them all the information about the displayed items. It even allows patrons to share it all on social networking sites in real time.

Armed with its state-of-the-art technology, the museum is expected to serve as a cultural venue which will give people the chance to broaden their knowledge about Naju history.

By Wi Tack-whan, Sohn JiAe
Korea.net Staff Writers
whan23@korea.kr

Naju_Museum_Opening_MAP.jpg

List

Department Global Communication and Contents Division , Contact Us