The present echoes of the ancient bronze drums : nationalism and archaeology in modern Vietnam and China

Xiaorong HAN, University of Hawaii, Manoa

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Bronze drums are one of the most important archaeological artifacts to be found in southern China and Southeast Asia. Their use by many ethnic groups in that area has lasted from prehistoric times to the present. Northern Vietnam and southwestern China (especially Yunnan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) are the two areas where the majority of bronze drums have been discovered. According to a 1988 report, China has stored about 1460 bronze drums. The Provincial Museum of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region actually boasts the largest collection of Bronze drums in the world. The total number of bronze drums discovered in Vietnam reached about 360 in the 1980s, among which about 140 were Dong Son drums.