These splendid ethnographic collections illustrate how, through culture, different peoples have adapted to their surroundings. The key to the entire section lies in understanding the biocultural evolution that has characterised our species.

The tour reveals Homo sapiens’ settlements on different continents, and the objects, peoples and cultures that produced them. In this journey through space and time, a different showcase colour in each room underlines the geographical shift undertaken by the visitor.

The journey starts in Japan in the late 1800s/early 1900s, where visitors can admire fine artefacts such as two elegant inlaid panels, beautiful kimonos, armours and weapons, model houses, and objects of daily and domestic life, such as precious lacquered tableware, ceramics, porcelain and teapots used for the famous Tea Ceremony (Cha no yu, “hot water for tea”), a slow and precise ritual carried out in semi-darkness, in a dimension suspended from everyday life, where the spirit can elevate itself.

We then enter the turquoise blue of Oceania, an archipelago room where, among pirogues and showcases, we can explore the charm of this continent of islands and sea, through objects from Melanesia, Polynesia, Australia and New Guinea.

There are large painted shields, Australian boomerangs and spear-throwers (used for hunting), wooden statues, masks, percussion instruments, items of clothing, accessories, weapons and armours.

From Oceania we move on to Africa, whose showcases tinted yellow like the sand of the Sahara flaunt weapons, everyday objects, work tools, medical instruments and sacred objects – first and foremost a precious mashamboy mask.

The journey ends among the peoples and cultures of Asia: precious fabrics, clothes and wonderful porcelain objects from China; sacred objects; an Indonesian “shadow theatre“; objects of daily life from India, Tibet and Nepal; daggers and swords from South-East Asia.