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Australia’s Torres Strait masks displayed in Hanoi

 The Australian Embassy in Vietnam kicked off an exhibition entitled “Evolution: Torres Strait Masks” at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi on May 18.

The event was part of activities celebrating the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic ties (February 26) and International Museum Day (May 18).

Speaking at the event, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said this was the first time masks of Torres Strait, one of the typical Australian cultural features, have been introduced to the Vietnamese public.

He hoped that the Vietnamese people will learn more about the life and culture of Australian indigenous people in the strait through the event, thereby promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the people of the two countries.

According to the tradition of Torres Strait – a network of islands between Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, masks are made by hand from local materials such as tortoise shells, small ropes and wild bee wax.

Today’s mask creations are considered expression of cultural and art revival, helping local people hand down their culture to later generations.

During the event, a documentary entitled “Cracks in masks” was also screened, introducing local culture and history to audiences.

The exhibition will open to the public till July 18.