The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences is in the system of Vietnamese national museums.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology has many different functions such as research, collection, preservation, and restoration of objects and materials of ethnic peoples; organizing exhibitions, performances, and other forms of activities to introduce cultures of ethnic groups in Vietnam as well as in other countries.

The formation process of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was promoted from the 1980s when the country's socio-economic conditions were still extremely difficult in the post-war period. On October 24, 1995, the Prime Minister issued a Decision to establish the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

On November 12, 1997, on the occasion of the summit of French-speaking nations in Hanoi, the Museum was inaugurated in the presence of the Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh and President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.

The Museum is located on an area of nearly 4.5 hectares, including three exhibition spaces.

- A 2-storey building called the Bronze Drum for displaying Vietnamese ethnic groups, opened to the public from November 13, 1997.

- The outdoor exhibition called Architectural Garden with about two hectares wide, built from 1998 to 2006, introduces ten folk architectural works of ten ethnic groups in Vietnam.

- A 4-storey Kite building, started construction in June 2007 and opened its first display at the end of 2013, is an exhibition space of cultues of peoples outside Vietnam, firstly peoples of Southeast Asia.