Folklore Museum - Museum of Popular Traditions, Amman
The Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions acts as a sort of National Ethnographical Museum for Jordan. It includes a number of different displays on the artisanship and traditional industries that characterized both the Jordanian and Palestinian people for centuries. Of course, the Museum has a variety of different displays on the weaponry, agricultural tools and book arts of the inhabitants of this part of the Middle East, but my favourite part is the explanation of clothing habits. Yes, textiles are not always exciting, but these ones provide an interesting view into the diversity that existed and continues to exist amongst the Jordanian and Palestinian peoples. Jordan lies at the abutment of two Arab traditions: the urban, cosmopolitan one of the Levant, and the conservative, nomadic one of the Arabian deserts. The Museum does a good job at showing this split and how it produced a wealth of clothing and design traditions.
One of two small museums within the Roman Theatre of Amman, the Museum of Popular Traditions focuses Jordanian and Palestinian heritage from Jordan (Palestinians make up a large percentage of the Jordanian population). The museum was established in 1971 in the eastern vaults of the Theatre and it exhibits numerous costumes, jewellery and other artefacts. A section of the museum is dedicated to ancient mosaics transported from Madaba and Jerash, such as the ones in the attached photos. At the western end of the Theatre is the Jordan Folklore Museum, but it was closed for renovation when I visited in Dec 2010 (and I did not enter it on my first visit in Aug 2008).
Both these museums are within the grounds of the Roman Theatre. The same entrance ticket bought for the Theatre, allows entrance to these museums.
I did find both quite interesting and worth visiting. You don’t need a lot of time to visit the two museums.
The Jordan Folklore Museum is located within the western section of the Roman Theatre in Amman(Al Balad). This museum was founded by the Department of Antiquities and officially opened in 1975. The museum houses items representing the following Jordanian cultures:
The culture of the desert (Bedu).
The culture of the villages (Reef).
The culture of the towns and cities(Madineh).
The collection of the museum represents items of daily life from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as:
Costumes of the various areas in Jordan.
Utensils used for food preparation, making bread, coffee, and tea.
The Museum of Popular Traditions is in the foundations of the Roman theater. It exhibits traditional Jordanian costumes, fine embroidery and antique jewels. It also houses several mosaics from Madaba and Jerash.
As part of your admission fee to see the Amphitheatre, this is one of two small museums (and the more interesting of the two in my opinion) that are nearby to check out. Showing an extensive collection of items, you get a full sense of the culture and customs of Jordan.
Two little museums at the Roman ampitheatre are devoted to the folklore and traditional life of Jordan, and are certainly worth a visit. Among the exhibits are some wonderful costumes, head-dresses and jewellery, as well as a good collection of 4th-6th century mosaics, interesting depictions of town and nomadic life and a a fine assortment of weapons, musical instruments, domestic and agricultural implements and the like. Known as the Museum of Popular Traditions and the Folklore Museum they occupy the vaulted chambers oof the foundations n either side of the stage and offer an interesting glimpse of the structure beneath the huge open seating area.
On the right side of the Roman theatre there is the entrance to the Folklore Museum. In this museum you can find many oblects used in the daily life of Jordanian people like a Beduin tend, carpets and more.
Still with the same 500fils ticket, you can visit as well two small museums. The first one presents traditional clothes from the area. The second one presents some objects typical of the day to day life and reproduces scenes of the traditional life: Bedouin caravan, village’s house, local artwork,…