The Department of Ethnography is one of the founding departments at the History Museum of Armenia. The Department was formed on the basis of the collection of the Armenian Ethnographic Society of the Caucasus, which was moved from Tiflis to Yerevan in 1921-1922. The collection was compiled by outstanding ethnographer and archeologist Yervand Lalayan with the materials acquired during the scientific expeditions under his guidance in Eastern and Western Armenia. Later, the Museum collection was replenished with materials of ethnographic nature from themuseums at the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin, the Lazarian Seminary in Moscow and the Museum of Armenian Antiquities of Nor Nakhijevan.
In 1928-1947, the Department of Ethnography was headed by ethnographer and folklorist S. Lisitsian. At that time, more specialists joined the Department and research projects on Armenian ethnography were launched. In 1931-1938, research and material-collecting expeditions were organized in Armenia and its neighbouring regions with Armenian population: Zanguezur-Syunik-Goris (1931), Meghri-Kapan (1932), Lori-Ghazakh (1934-1935), Javakhk (1936) and Sevan Basin (1938). Now, the Department bears the name of S. Lisitsian.
In 1947-1979, the Department carried out about thirty material-collectingexpeditions in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabagh, as well as in almost all settlements with Armenian population in the Northern Caucasus and the Black Sea coast, under the guidance of ethnographers V. Bdoyan and V. Abrahamian. Ties established and strengthened with the Armenian Diaspora. Nowadays, the ethnographic collection,replenishedthrough donations and acquisitions, presents the 17th-20th century culture, folk lifestyle and decorative-applied art of the historical-ethnographical areas in Armenia.
The ethnographic collection is presented in the permanent expositions of the Museum, as well as in the exhibitions on Armenian culture abroad.
The ethnographic collection includes examples of the decorative-applied artfrom the 16th - 21st centuries, lifestyle and production means from all the historical-ethnographical regions in Armenia.