Anthropology and ethnography museums host, preserve, and exhibit objects considered representative of cultures. They serve the disciplines that study human societies and cultures, showcasing how people live differently. Usually from colonized regions, these cultures typically differ from the societies in which the museums are located. Many of their collections grew considerably during the colonial enterprises of European countries.
These museums collect objects understood to have been used by a certain society; an object’s primary value lies in the information it provides about the culture that created it. Apart from housing objects, these museums preserve information and other materials that contextualize them. In their displays, the museum’s omniscient voice has traditionally spoken in the name of objects and cultures.