Lisbon Museum of Ethnology

The Lisbon Ethnology Museum

The Lisbon Museum of Ethnology was created in 1960 and functioned as the Study Center of the Higher Institute of Social Sciences and Overseas Politics (ISCSPU) currently the Institute of Social Sciences (ISC).

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The History of the Ethnology Museum of Lisbon

The current site of the Museum was designed and built in 1975/76.

Lisbon Museum of Ethnology
Lisbon Museum of Ethnology

The great driver of the idea was the ethnologist António Jorge Dias. With a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Munich, Jorge Dias created a team that included Margot Dias, his wife, Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira, Fernando Galhano and Benjamim Enes Pereira and were proponents of modern ethnology in Portugal.

At the Lisbon Museum of Ethnology, a set of equipment and objects linked to Portuguese rural life and the ancestral relationship with the former colonies, from Brazil, to Angola, through Timor and Mozambique, is brought together.

National Museum of Ethnology
National Museum of Ethnology

The legacy of Jorge Dias

Masks and sculptures of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, dolls from southwest Angola, splints from Rio de Onor, pot lids with proverbs from Cabinda, Portuguese musical instruments, among others, are part of his great estate.

There are more than 40.000 pieces from all over the world, in particular from Portugal and former colonies.

The legacy of António Jorge Dias and his work group
The legacy of António Jorge Dias and his work group

In the context of several study missions to ethnic minorities, from the former colonies, a set of objects collected in Africa was brought together in 1959, which gave rise to an exhibition, “Vida e Arte do Maconde people”. These missions were led by Jorge Dias who became the Director of this Museum in 1965.

It was intended to study the characteristics of any human group, people or ethnicity that, in any way, social, economic or cultural, determined a particular line of evolution and development.

Museum in the image of Jorge Dias and his Collaborators
Museum in the image of Jorge Dias and his Collaborators

To better understand the peoples' experience through the artifacts used, basically in agriculture and grazing, many of which were gathered in Portugal and are exhibited in the Museum.

There is also a collection of artifacts collected in the Amazon, from around 40 different peoples, gathered in the Gallery of the Amazon.

Guided tours

Be sure to visit the National Museum of Ethnology in Lisbon.

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