The Gardner D. Stout Hall of Asian Peoples—the Museum’s largest cultural hall—showcases some of the finest collections in Asian ethnology in the Western Hemisphere. Some 3,000 artifacts, which represent about 5 percent of the Museum’s considerable holdings, are displayed in the hall.
Asia contains more than one-third of the land surface of the world and some of the world’s most populous countries, including India and China. The hall explores the continent’s history and cultural diversity, highlighting regions such as India, China, Japan, Korea, Siberia, and Armenia, and exploring topics that include trade and the rise of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism. Sections of the hall are arranged roughly as if on a map, and it is possible to walk through the hall following either a northern or southern trade route.
Detailed dioramas include depictions of a wedding in a rural Hindu village in central India; a faithful re-creation of a late 19th-century healing ceremony of the Sakha of Eastern Siberia; and an ornate wedding chair, which would have carried a traditional Chinese bride to her new life with her husband’s family.