National Museum of Ethnology

Founded in 1965, at the time with the name “Museum of Ethnology from Overseas” (Museu de Etnologia do Ultramar), the National Museum of Ethnology (NME) was created with the goal of displaying the cultures of the peoples of the world. Therefore, it was not restricted to Portugal nor to the territories under its administration.

Today NME is one of the national museums managed by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, in Lisbon. Its mission is to preserve, promote, publicize and study its collections from a multicultural perspective, in line with the universalist principle advocated by its founding team: to represent the cultural diversity of the whole world on equal terms.

Inseparable from the emergence of modern Portuguese Anthropology, many of the NME‘s collections are the result of scientific research projects in Portugal and other countries. As a result, the museum is today the holder of an ethnographic heritage of great relevance at the national level. Its collections include more than 380 cultures from 80 countries and 4 continents, with a major presence of African, Asian and Amerindian cultures, as well as the traditional Portuguese culture.


National Museum of Ethnology Team