Museum Volkenkunden | The National Museum of Ethnology is a museum about people housed in a historic building just five minutes’ walk from Leiden’s central station.
It is part of The National Museum of World Cultures (NMVW) alongside Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum and the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal. Together these collections comprise nearly 450,000 objects, 260,000 photographs and some 350,000 items of documentary film and video material. Each of the objects in the museum’s collection tells a human story that embodies universal themes such as celebration, mourning, decoration, prayer, love and conflict. The one thing that these themes have in common is that they show that despite our differences we are all human.
The museum’s mission is to inspire an open attitude to the world and to help shape a global community by actively involving visitors and stakeholders in collecting, interpreting and sharing testimonies, increasing the understanding of mutual bonds. The overarching themes of the museum awaken visitors’ curiosity about the enormous cultural diversity that enriches the world.