Carlotta - the museum database

OBJTXTPublicerad text, engelska

1".......I think this is a costume for Noh (能). The red wig called Akagashira (赤頭, red head/hair) is worn for the role of Oni (鬼,demon), Dragon God (龍神/竜神) and Shojo (猩猩, red drunk monkey-like monster/spirit). The headdress is Ryudai (竜戴/龍戴, dragon crown). And the appetizing PEPPERMINT STICK is Uchizue (打杖) that is a property as a weapon/wand (magical powers) of Oni and Dragon God". (Comment on Flickr, read 2016-10-18)
1"1. The drum is a "Vodou" one, meaning Rada/Dahomean, with the wooden pins on top for securing the skin (which, differently from "Petro" or "Makaya/Bizango" drums is of cowhide, not goatskin). (The latter is played with hands, the former with stick, called "hammer"). The skin is harder for the Vodou/Dahomey. I am surprised to read that it is of palm tree wood, which is very soft. But then again, examining it, I observe it has indeed been attacked by termites... This is a very authentic object, a very nice drum, but I cannot say much of its origins except that I suppose it would most likely be from the Port-au-Prince region. 2.The two other objects are "pake kongo", of which you do have some in the FPVPOCH collection. They represent protective deities and are by no means aggressive, as indicated in the included letter. Please see our definition of "Pake Kongo" as included in the documentation. I think the author of the letter somewhat fantasized as to "fetishes" as was the fashion during these times of prejudices and attacks on the Vodou culture. The letter, yes, I do think too, would be also an item worth exhibiting, as a testimony of the persecutions Vodou endured during that period." Email 2010-12-17, Rachel Beauvor-Dominique, anthropologist, Haiti
1"Another type of sansa from southeast Nigeria and the Cameroons, which I call the oblong box sansa, usually has eight wooden lamellae (Fig. 1). This sansa has spread to Gabon and the Lower Congo. The technique of ornamentation combines the scorching of large areas and the engraving of lines with ahot iron point. The patterns consist of flowing leaflike forms on the top and bottom; the sides have geometrical decorations in rhombic and triangular forms or checked patterns. The ornamentation and construction of the sound box, which is made of six thin pieces of wood, point to the Ekoi-Ibibio culture complex.This was noted by William Fagg in a catalogue of the Ethnographical Museum, Gothenburg, where three sansas are kept." (Söderberg, 1972:31)
2"A remarkable artist emerged at the turn of the twentieth century in the region of the old Ngoyo kingdom, in a village called Muba. He specialized in figural pottery and his art is preserved in many museums and private collections around the world. He usually mounted one or two standing, sitting or kneeling human figures on a bowl, modeling them with mild facial expressions. His name was carved with single or double lines in the wet clay: VOANIA MUBA, in block letters. The almond-shaped eyes, the short incision to suggest the eyebrows, the neatly combed hair and the often delicate smile are equally part of his signature." Vanhee, 2013. I Cooksey, Susan et al (red.), Kongo across the Waters. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.
1"Baskets from Ngamiland; the baskets on display are from Ngamiland, Northern Botswana and are the work of two main groups of people, the Hambukushu who live mostly in the 13 Etsha villages and the Bayei who live in the Gomore area. The two groups have an association with each other since both have been moving in and out of the Okavango Delta for the last thousand years; the bayei on the eastern side and the hambukushu on the western. Malcolm Thomas, the Settlement Officer working with the hambukushu, noticed the rich craft tradition they had brought with them and encouraged it by setting up a marketing system especially for their baskets business. In 1970, Botswanacraft was set up to handle the fast growing basket business. With financial aid and continued support from international volunteer organisations the production and sale of baskets grew. Baskets sold within Botswana and were also exported to the United States, Canada and Europe. In 1977 the National Museum and Art Gallery, Gaborone, began a tradition of holding annual baskets exhibitions. In 1979, 80, 81 the exhibition was held in collaboration with Botswanacraft in the form of a competition, helping to ensure the continued high quality of design and craft. " Baskets and Taestry Exhibition Leksand/Stockholm
1"Parfleche" ("turn arrow") Storage bag for dried meat, made of untanned buffalo hide. Possibly Blackfeet. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
7"The neighboring Bembe created closely related, but stylistically distinct, textile reliquary figures known as muzidi. Whereas Bwende figures invariably stand and their bodies feature a broad torso with arms and legs of equal length, Bembe muzidi are generally seated, with long, narrow torsos and extended limbs terminating in prominently articulated fingers and toes. The relatively small corpus of muzidi that survive in the West suggest that Bembe artists were more inclined to select from a wider range of imported, factory-produced trade cloths to enliven their creations. While all of them draw on boldly patterned prints that emphasize a red palette, no two examples repeat the same one, so that their visual effect varies considerably. Some of these creations skillfully juxtapose contrastingprints" (LaGamma 2007b:43).
1"This nkisi is a carved sculpture. In its 'heart' [medical packet] leaves are placed, lusaku-saku, diba mushrooms and mvuutu. These are mixed inder the resin and stuck on the chest of the statue, which wears a raffia wrap tied with a cord. If someone wants to compose the nkisi he goes with the nganga to the cemetery. When they arrive they make an enclosure of palm branches and begin to prepare medicines. The nganga and his apprentice put them into the statue and the fire off two shots. They then leave the nkisi on the grave and return to the village. The reason why the nkisi is left is that it leads people to believe that the ghosts themselves complete the medicine packet. The next morning they return to fetch their nkisi, first firing a shot. They take the statue and return it to the village. This nkisi is not used to heal people but only in war, so that men should not be killed or hurt by bullets. the day they are to go to war, all the fighters go first to the nganga of Nduda, that they may soak munkwisa [creeper] [in water] at the place where they invoke the nkisi, dip his finger in the mud and mark every man with it at the corners of his eyes and on the forehead; then they depart. As they go, the nganga ties the nkisi in his loincloth and goes ahead of the warrioirs, they following him. Nganga shakes his whistle until they overtake him and pass in front to fight with their opponents. They cannot be hurt or wounded because of the Nduda they have acquired." (Babutidi Timotio, Kinkenge, Kongo-Kinshasa, cahier 17 - i engelsk översättning av Wyatt MacGaffey i MacGaffey 1991:109)
11887.08.5172+5173. Function: For as long as we have known, people have come to Benares to be able to meet the gods, primarily Shiva, but also to die, be cremated and be released from reincarnation. The city is filled with temples and holy places where gods have manifested themselves, and where one can obtain an “audience”, darshana, with them. You meet their gaze and bring your offerings. In circles, the routes of pilgrimage in the city encompass everything, successively, from the holiest sanctum in the innermost temple to the whole region, which is called Kashi by the pilgrims. The central temple is dedicated to Shiva as “Ruler of the Universe”, Vishanatha. As in Stolpe’s time it is jammed in, in the dense bazaar settlement, neighbor to the Jnana Vapi mosque. As well as for Hindus, Benares is a holy city for Muslims, Sikhs, Jainists and Buddhists. Hjalmar Stolpe must have walked the narrow lanes of Benares when making his acquisitions. Just opposite the western entrance to the temple lie shops and workshops where statues of marble in black and green kinds of stone are hewn, chisellled, polished, often painted and offered to customers. The majority of the artisans as well as the raw material come from Rajasthan. Jaipur Murtiwala (“The statue makers of Jaipur”) are probably biggest in the business today and might have been the case also at the time of Stolpe’s visit. He bought a number of statues mostly in white painted marble. Among them was the pair of Krishna and Radha. Acquisition Acquired by Hjalmar Stolpe during his circumnavigation on the ship Vanadis (which he had just left to be able to stay on longer in India). The huge Vanadis collections were first handled separately but were eventually to form one of the original major collections that made up the Ethnographic Museum. Why this is a masterpiece The objects may not be “masterpieces” in their own right, but have been chosen because of their meaning and usefulness to the museum. History of the Object The objects were fashioned in one of the workshops in old Benares/Varanasi, from which Hjalmar Stolpe acquired them. These shops offer anthropomorphic statues as well as non-anthropomorphic ones (linga for Shiva) which people buy and bring home for private chapels, village temples or temples of a more major kind. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1<0x0a><0x0a>1887.08.5172+5173. Function: For as long as we have known, people have come to Benares to be able to meet the gods, primarily Shiva, but also to die, be cremated and be released from reincarnation. The city is filled with temples and holy places where gods have manifested themselves, and where one can obtain an “audience”, darshana, with them. You meet their gaze and bring your offerings. In circles, the routes of pilgrimage in the city encompass everything, successively, from the holiest sanctum in the innermost temple to the whole region, which is called Kashi by the pilgrims. The central temple is dedicated to Shiva as “Ruler of the Universe”, Vishanatha. As in Stolpe’s time it is jammed in, in the dense bazaar settlement, neighbor to the Jnana Vapi mosque. As well as for Hindus, Benares is a holy city for Muslims, Sikhs, Jainists and Buddhists. Hjalmar Stolpe must have walked the narrow lanes of Benares when making his acquisitions. Just opposite the western entrance to the temple lie shops and workshops where statues of marble in black and green kinds of stone are hewn, chisellled, polished, often painted and offered to customers. The majority of the artisans as well as the raw material come from Rajasthan. Jaipur Murtiwala (“The statue makers of Jaipur”) are probably biggest in the business today and might have been the case also at the time of Stolpe’s visit. He bought a number of statues mostly in white painted marble. Among them was the pair of Krishna and Radha. Acquisition Acquired by Hjalmar Stolpe during his circumnavigation on the ship Vanadis (which he had just left to be able to stay on longer in India). The huge Vanadis collections were first handled separately but were eventually to form one of the original major collections that made up the Ethnographic Museum. Why this is a masterpiece The objects may not be “masterpieces” in their own right, but have been chosen because of their meaning and usefulness to the museum. History of the Object The objects were fashioned in one of the workshops in old Benares/Varanasi, from which Hjalmar Stolpe acquired them. These shops offer anthropomorphic statues as well as non-anthropomorphic ones (linga for Shiva) which people buy and bring home for private chapels, village temples or temples of a more major kind. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
82, 24, 57, 58, 69, 73, 87, 89: Function: The function of these small enigmatic terra-cotta figures is not ascertained. They are archaeological in nature and no written or other documentation seem to have survived as to their role. Normal suggestions that they are toys can be ruled out, at least for the ones which show monkeys engaged in explicit sexual games, but perhaps not for the small figures depicting camels and other animals. There are also small figures which play instruments. The next suggestion is normally then that they have some kind of ritual use, which is however not ascertained. The interesting thing is that they have only been found in Khotan in the South-western corner of the Taklimakan desert, Xinjiang, China. Then associated to archaeological layers from the period from the 1st to 10th century AD when Khotan (or then Yotkan/Bhorasan) was an early and important, even flourishing, entry point for Buddhism from India. In many respects they are directly related to Kashmir (Gandhara) south of Karakorum. Monkeys are not found in Xinjiang and there are many ornamental traits in these small figures which have their direct correspondence in Gandharan art. Acquisition They were acquired in 1895 by Sven Hedin during his first expedition (1893-97). He visited Yotkan, but the acquisitions were made from local peddlers in the bazaar. Every year the Spring-floods exposed objects of this kind from the archaeological layers of what had once been Yotkan. Why this is a masterpiece These kinds of objects, which are found in a small number of museums in the world, have aroused a lot of attention because of their enigmatic nature, their naive but at the same time, explicit character, and because they point to the fact that cultural transfers from India to China did not only contain Buddhist texts and Gandharan art but also elements of what might be “folk-culture”. History of the Object The early history of these objects, before they were covered by sediments later to be exposed by Spring floods is not known. Sven Hedin acquired them in 1895 and donated the collection the Museum of Ethnography in 1903. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1A beggar in Teheran (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A boy named Nicola Augustin made this doll. A rainy day in January 2001 he was walking along the road with his friends, playing with the doll. He was 13 years old. A car stopped and collector Willhelm Östberg stepped out. Willhelm bought the doll from Nicola and it is now a part of the museum collection.
1A cobbler in the marketplace of Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A dervish in Veramin (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A dilapidated gate in Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1After the invasion Relief plaques in bronze once adorned the colonnades that supported the roofs of the royal palaces. Originally, this relief table was half a metre high and had more than one figure. A coral collar covers the mouth of the figure and underneath is a necklace made of leopard teeth and a clock. On the tunic there is a leopard’s head. 1907.44.391. 17th century (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1A garden, shadowed by palm trees, Najbänd (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A group of Persian rural musicians (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A huge tamarisk tree outside Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Ainu The aboriginal people of Japan The Ainu people of Hokkaido once inhabited a much larger area than they do today. They were probably found on northern Honshu, and there were Ainus on southern Sakhalin and on the Kurile Islands. The Ainu of Sakhalin were evacuated to Hokkaido after the Second World War and the Japanese defeat of 1945. Ainu on the northern Kurile Islands had been shifted in 1875 to Shikotan, an island just off the Hokkaido coast. In 1945 the entire group was moved to Hokkaido. Although the Ainu from various parts of this immense area differed from one another, they also shared many cultural traits. The differences were connected to their adaptation to different habitats, and to the contacts they maintained with neighbouring peoples. The material culture of the Ainu, with its characteristic design and motifs, is unmistakably “Ainu”. At the same time it reveals clear influences from the Asiatic mainland and from the Japanese islands. On the Kurile Islands the Ainu lived in cold, northerly surroundings, close to the open sea. They drew their sustenance from the sea, which also provided products for trading. During the winter they stayed on the main islands, in sodcovered pit-houses. During the summer they moved to the outer islands, to fishing and hunting camps. On Sakhalin the Ainu maintained close contacts with their ethnic neighbours on northern Sakhalin and in the Amur region. Directly and indirectly they also traded with China and Russia, serving as a bridge for merchandise and cultural influence to Hokkaido. Their affinity with Siberian culture was evident; shamanism was practised. They lived in log houses. Their economy was based on hunting and fishing. Hokkaido offered much more varied conditions. The Ainu there primarily lived in small villages (kotan) in the valleys, close to rivers rich in salmon. Hunting grounds were found in the mountains, waters for fishing and hunting sea mammals at the coast. They collected and used resources offered by nature. Trading with Japan was of great importance.
1A museum has a past, a history which is stored in its archives. Here we show some images, newspaper clippings and documents related to Native Americans. Newspaper clippings and archive photos speak of a time passed, but also of an expression and perspective typical for that time. Old pictures receive new life when they are digitalized and processed with new techniques. Ishi, the last Yahi Yana Indian At dawn on August 29, 1911, in the small town of Oroville in northern California, an under-nourished man was found identified as the last surviving Yahi Yana Indian - a tribe thought to have been extinct for decades. Because he refused to pronounce his name, we know him only as Ishi - which means "man" in the Yahi Yana language. Ishi was taken care of by among others an anthropologist who made a home for him at the ethnographic museum in Berkeley. There he lived the last years of his life until he died from tuberculosis in 1916. Here some of the arrow points are shown that Ishi made in the Berkeley museum. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1A musical instrument consisting of a cylindrical shaft surmounted by the figure of a long-beaked bird. It is played by striking the bird figure on its beak with a metal rod. This ideophone is used especially at the yearly ceremonies when Palace Chiefs and Town Chiefs salute their Oba by simultaneously letting their instruments sound. 16th - 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1A Persian man (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1A person is riding a polar bear. Polar bears are usually very dangerous to humans. But these two seem to be friends. What does this mean? That the one who owned this figure could become stronger than a bear? Or that bears are kind, even though they can be hungry and want to eat someone?
1A statue depicting Rölpai Dorje (1717-1786), the most important religious personality during the 18th century Qing-dynasty: Religious instructor of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799); "Teacher of the Empire"; "Lama of the Seal" (tham ka bla ma) the highest rank a Tibetan Buddhist monk could attain in China; a man of numerous distinctions and attainments. Also a man of many names: borne as Dragpa Sonam with a Tibetan name; reincarnated as the second Changkya Huhtugtu with a Mongolian title; known as Lalita Vajra with a Sanskrit name. His achievements were manifold in promoting Tibetan Buddhism; in art and architecture, in establishing and developing monasteries, temples and retreats, in having the Tibetan Kanjur translated into Manchu and other Buddhist collections into Mongolian, in compiling iconographic inventories of the Tibetan pantheon (in 300 and 360 images/icons).. The statue has been made for religious purposes, to be placed on a place for veneration. It belongs to a category of realistic, portrait like depictions of religious masters. A particular physiognomic trait of Rölpai Dorje was the fat lump he had behind his right cheek. It has been clearly rendered on this statue. 10. The Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm also possesses a painting (thangka) (1935.50.3113) with Rölpai Dorje at the centre surrounded by his lineage of 16 earlier existences. Rölpai Dorje holds a book in his hand.
1A Swedish soldier called Axel Svinhuvud was given this harp by a chief in Congo a long time ago. Axel worked there in the 19th century. When he moved back to Sweden he gave the harp to the museum. People in Congo often made harps like this one as presents to people who couldn't play them.
2B.S. Chamberlain :The Shinto coffin resembles that used in Europe. The Buddhist coffin is small and square, and the corpse is fitted in a squatting posture with the head bent to the knees/.../ Further outward and visible signs whereby to distinguish a Buddhist from a Shinto funeral, are, in the former, the bare shaven heads of the Buddhist priest and the dark blue coats of the coffin-bearers; in the latter, the plain white garb of the coffin-bearers, the Shinto-priests' non-shaven heads and curved gauze caps, and the flags and branches of trees borne in the procession. The use of large bouquets of flowers is common to both, and both religions have funeral services of great length and intricacy. Japanese Things (Tokyo, 1890)
2B.S. Chamberlain skriver under upplagsordet funerals i sin Japanese Things (Tokyo, 1890): The Shinto coffin resembles that used in Europe. The Buddhist coffin is small and square, and the corpse is fitted in a squatting posture with the head bent to the knees/.../ Further outward and visible signs whereby to distinguish a Buddhist from a Shinto funeral, are, in the former, the bare shaven heads of the Buddhist priest and the dark blue coats of the coffin-bearers; in the latter, the plain white garb of the coffin-bearers, the Shinto priests' non-shaven heads and curved gauze caps, and the flags and branches of trees borne in the procession. The use of large bouquets of flowers is common to both, and both religions have funeral services of great length and intricacy. Wagner, Ulla bilddokumentation
1Bilden återfinns i albumet The Building in Japan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913, Taisho 2) med texten: When a temple or a very high class house is built, a solemn ceremony takes place by Shinto priests. Also, in this ceremony, the chief carpenters who are attired in Shinto priest's costume, ceremonially use the measured and spooled marking ink over the main pole of the buildning.
1Bostan (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
5Bow and arrows The bow is clad with rattlesnake skin. Said to have belonged to a chief. Blackfeet or Blackfoot Sioux. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1Brass bracelet ornamented with nine heads of Europeans, eight mudfish and eight crocodile heads. Such bracelets form part of the extra-ordinaary costumes worn by the Oba and his chiefs at the palace ceremonies. Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Brass roosters are placed on ancestral altars commemorating the Queen Mothers of Benin. The rooster is in court circles considered a symbol for the senior wife of the Oba. 18th century.
1Bronze plaque representing a musician When the Portuguese first made contact with the power of Benin in 1472, and first visited the great city itself in about 1485, they found flourishing there an art of bronzecasting, derived from an older tradition at Ife in Yorubaland, wich was of great beaty and sensitivity. Bronze was in short supply and treated as precious metal, but the portugese were soon able to remedy that, importing enough bronze in the sixteenth century to enable the Oba to clothe the pillars of his most impressive courtyard in bronze reliefs- the rectangular form of which seems to have been the only major portuguese contribution to the art. Enough plaques survice-about 1000-to have fitted out about 45 pillars. At this point we may regard the Early Period as giving place to the Middle or Classical Period, wich lasted for a century or more until about 1650. The art had reched a plateau of "acceptance"-the criterion of classicism-which is our chief guide in identifying the other works of the period. This fine example of a single-figure plaque shows a chief (as we know from his beaded collar) playing on a small calabash rattle covered in beaded net, his right middle finger tucked into the central hole. Action, in one of the royal ceremonies, is here representented in a rather static manner. Yet the essential dignity of all works of the middle Period is the dominant effect wich the bronze projects from the sixteenth century into our own day. By William Fagg. The Georg von Békésy Collection. Page 170-171.
1Camp 36 at Haus i Sultan Ser (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Ceremonial stool, according to oral tradition the oldest form of royal throne in Benin. During the 14th century it was replaced by other types of royal stools, but is still used by the king and some of his chiefs and priests. 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Ceremonial sword The Oba gave such swords to high-ranking chiefs, who then carried them at ceremonies as a symbol of the Oba’s power over life and death. 1947.9.66. 17th century (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1Coconut-shell container. These objects were carved by the so called Omada, swordbearers and domestic servants of the Oba, who used their spare time to learn the art of carving and to develop their artistic talents. (Staden-Benin)
1Commemorative head of an Iyoba (queen mother), cast in brass for an ancestral altar in the palace of the ruling Queen Mother. 19th century.
1Commemorative head of an Oba commissioned sometime in the 19th century by one of the three kings Osemwede, Adolo or Owonramwen. The head wears a caplike beaded crown with winglike projections at the sides, a type of crown which according to oral tradition was introduced during the first half of the 19th century.
1Commemorative head of an Oba intended for an ancestral altar in the royal palace. 17th century. (Exhibition, Staden 1998)
1Commemorative head of an Oba This head made of brass was placed on a royal altar. The eyes are placed somewhat asymmetrically and seem to be looking in different directions. Is this to show that nothing escapes the Oba? 1907.44.381. 19th century (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1Court official holding a protective charm in form of a mirror. Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Deep-sea and coast-fishing is an important industry of Japan, and fully a million men are engaged , day by day and night by night, in this work. The fleets are commanded by a "commodore", one to each fleet, and the fleets are distinct and independent of each other. In this volume we deal with coast fishing, and we think the subject and the illustrations will interest our friends from over the seas. Ur The Fisherman's Life in Japan, Tamura Photographer, Kobe, 1906.
1Demavend (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Derek Wilson (1950-2011) We regret to inform you that well-known Haisla jeweller, Derek Wilson passed away on September 6, 2011. Derek was a great artist and a knowledgeable teacher. He began carving with his brother, Barry Wilson, in the late 1950's, finishing pieces that their uncle Henry Robertson used to throw away. It was in 1976 that Derek was influenced by Russell Smith and David Gladstone to engrave silver and gold. His designs were based on his family history from the Tsimshian and Haisla Nations. Derek's many accomplishments included exhibits at MOA, Vancouver Centennial Museum and a museum collection in England in 1967. He designed the BC Explorer Logo and one of his gold rings was given to the Queen of England in 1981 by a visiting native group to the UK. From 2004-2006 he helped with the recreation of the nineteenth-century G'psgolox pole made for Sweden and was also featured in the NFB documentary: Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole. Derek was an inspiring teacher and helped many young artists establish their careers including Kelvin Thompson, Ivan Thomas and Dan Wallace. In 2008, he helped teach and advise the students of the Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts Program. Derek was a close friend of the gallery from the very beginning in 1986, and will always be remembered. The Memorial will be held on Friday, September 9th from 6pm-9pm at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, 1607 East Hastings Street. (http://lattimergallery.blogspot.com/2011/09/derek-wilson-1950-2011.html, 2011-09-07)
1Devil-masks of this kind are sometimes placed at the entrance of Korean villages to frighten away evil spirits. (Bergman 1938)
1Drum with drumstick Skin over a wooden framework. Plains, Sioux. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Early adventure travellers During the first half of the 19th century adventurers and artists began to explore the plains. They travelled with steamboats on the Upper Missouri river from St. Louis to the current border with Canada. Fur hunters were hired as guides for their knowledge of the Indian people.This happened before the Indian wars on the plains broke out, and when there were still enormous herds of buffalo on the Great Plains. Armand Fouché d'Otrante, a Frenchman who immigrated to Sweden, was inspired by Karl Bodmer and George Catlin prior to his voyage to the plains in 1842-45. D'Otrante hunted buffalo and met Indians who gathered at the forts along the Upper Missouri. His guide Etienne Provost knew how the Indians were to be greeted in the correct manner, especially if one was interested in trading with them. Perhaps d'Otrante saw a bit of himself in the disciplined, proud, well-dressed Indian warrior, who could hunt, fight and conduct himself with dignity. (Exhibition 2008)
1Ear ornament Made from seashells from the Pacific coast. Blackfeet or Blackfoot Sioux. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1EMMA's spring exhibition The power of Africa focuses on Europe's culture debt to Africa from three different standpoints. The exhibition presents an impressive selection of traditional West African art alongside European modernist art. I.a. French and Czech Cubism, German Expressionism, Russian Cubo-Futurism and Finnish contemporary art are shown in an African light. African art had a major impact on early 20th century Modernism. With the industrialisation and urbanisation of Europe western man was seen to be moving towards decline. Artists set out to seek a new beginning, a vitality and a nucleus of human existence beyond the confines of their homes, looking as far as Africa. Pablo Picasso included, not all artists actually travelled to Africa but the geometric and minimalist language of African art rubbed off on European art through ethnographic collections and art objects. Africa brought about a complete change in the colour world of the paintings of Akseli Gallen-Kallela, the best-known Finnish artist to visit Africa, It was only later, after the artist’s death, that the glowing colours and somewhat simplified forms of his African paintings were accorded the recognition they deserved. EMMA presents African works as part of an art culture. The exhibition wishes to demolish the mistaken idea of the superiority of European art and rationalism. Some African art works relate to rituals in the same way as the church frescoes of European art are a part of religion. Contrary to popular belief, the individuality and rich nuances of the artist can also be found in African art, Although it was not customary for African artists to sign their works the artists were respected masters in their society. The third perspective traces the relationship between Finnish contemporary art and Africa. From experience gained from different cultures today’s artists seek an understanding of other cultures - and people - as well as a new artistic content. Many Finnish artists such as Stefan Bremer, Alvar Gullichsen and Teemu Mäki have visited Villa Karo, the Finnish cultural institute in Benin, but often photographs have sufficed to influence them as they did their 20th century colleagues. The exhibition's modernists: Fernand Léger, Emil Filla, Otto Gutfreund, Antonin Procházka, Václav Špala, Josef Čapek, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Erich Heckel, Otto Mueller, Conrad Felixmüller Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Natalia Gontšarova, Nadežda Udaltsova, Vladimir Baranov-Rossiné, Ljubov Popova, Kazimir Malevitš, O.V.Rozanova, Alexander Drevin, Pavel Filonov, Vladimir Tatlin, André Lhote, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Auguste Herbin, Marie Laurencin, Wäinö Aaltonen, Hugo Backmansson, Birger Carlstedt, Alvar Cawén, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Greta Hällfors-Sipilä and Uuno Alanko. The exhibition's Finnish contemporary artists: Martti Aiha, Stefan Bremer, Alvar Gullichsen, Timo Kelaranta, Pertti Kukkonen, Tapani Mikkonen, Marika Mäkelä, Teemu Mäki, Tiina-Elina Nurminen, Lauri Nykopp, Kimmo Pyykkö, Ulla Rantanen, Tuomo-Juhani Vuorenmaa and IlkkaVäätti. The international works in the exhibition come from France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Holland and Sweden. African sculptural art has been loaned by i.a. Musée du Quai Branly,Paris. The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Die Brucke museum and Nationalgalerie, Berlin and Dansmuseet and Etnografiska museet, Stockholm. (http://www.emma.museum/eng/exhibitions/ThePowerofAfrica-ThreePerspectives.php, 2010-02-17)
1En liknande bild finns i albumet The New Year in Japan (Tamamura, Kobe, 1905, Meiji 39) med texten: On the fourth day the fire brigade give practical illustrations of their capabilities. Engines are screaming along the streets; ladders are lashed together in a moment or two, held high in the air, and then the younger members imitate the monkey family by rushing up to dizzy heights, and in no hurry to come down – a wellknown habit of real "Jacko". The men are regaled with wine, and then they get home just in time to prevent "accidents".
1Fan of bronze Important persons have attendants to keep them cool during the ceremonies. That this fan is made of bronze indicates that it has been used at court. Fans are also made of embroidered skin of cow, leopard or antelope. 1954.28.2 (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1Figure 10: Hjalmar Stolpe (center) and the bearded George Kiefer (to his right) backed by Kiefer’sexcavation team at Ancón, Peru. (Steinberg 2007)
1Figure 15: View of the “Necropolis” of Ancón, Peru, looking toward the East. (Steinberg and Prost 2007)
1Figure 5: Skeleton lying on the surface of the “Necropolis” at Ancón, Peru (Steinberg & Prost 2007).
2Figure 9: Anthropometric photograph of Peruvian man at Ancón, Peru
1Filled as it was with wooden houses, hardly a day passed in Istanbul without a fire, and the fire brigade - whose members were known as 'Tulumbacı Ocağı' (Fire Brigade) had to be ready for action at all times of day or night. Watchmen stationed in the Galata and Beyazıt towers sent messengers out as soon as they saw flames or smoke, and the cannon set on each of the seven hills of the city would be fired to sound the alarm. The nearest firemen, four carrying the fire pump, would rush out to fight the fire. [Engin Özendes 1999, p.143] As this photograph was shot in the studio, the Abdullah Frères created the effect of blasting water from the fire hose by dissolving the print's emulsion. (http://www.acgart.gr/acg-collection/ARTISTS/A/AbdF/AbdF1863fire.htm, 2010-03-20)
2Flashy fringes waving in the wind What can be remembered from a visit in Ifakara, a small and busy town with a population of 50 000 in southern Tanzania? That it’s dry, hot and dusty. Quite an impressive railway station in Chinese fuctionalism. An elegant modern Catholic church with an extraordinary crucifix, in a suburb. Near the hospital a large mural promoting mosquito nets. Malaria is here a curse, like in so many other places. We were thoroughly questioned by the security police. Why are we here and why are we putting all these questions to people all the time? That we tell them we will be visiting an artist is not much of an answer, we realize. It is not the custom for foreigners to turn up here without having an assignment for the hospital, the church or the construction industry. Still, Ifakara could well be worthwhile to stop at as a tourist. The big market place is lively and attractive. Second hand clothes are sold and traditional medicines, household goods, fish, vegetables and a lot more. Swahili pop music. The residential blocks, though, with their low clay buildings are quiet and peaceful. In a small weaving mill, high quality vikoi are being produced. These sarongs are sold to the coastal area where they are transformed into men’s loincloths. Near the wide Kilombe river we can see weaver birds, pelicans and hippos. So of course Ifakara is worth a visit. But what do you bring home as a present? The beautiful woven fabrics, that goes without saying, but why not bring a colorful cover for a bicycle saddle too, made of plastic and foam rubber, decorated with fringes? Being sold at the shoemaker’s down the street. Keep looking for the sign saying Fundi viatu yupo hapa (Here’s the shoemaker).
1Fotot finns i albumet Girls' Pastimes in Japan (Takagi, Kobe 1917, Taisho 6) med texten: The attraction of the day is the display of dolls and their miniature house furnishings. Many of these articles are heirlooms of great value. Some are gifts received year by year on the day of the Girls' Festival. How delightful the dainty feast eaten from those tiny lacquer cups and porcelain dishes.
1Fotot kommer från albumet The Building in Japan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913, Taisho 2) med texten: This is the best rooms, intenionally made for receiving guests. Artistic and expensive woods are used for the poles and floor of the "Tokonoma", or, place of honour. Chosen woods are used for the ceiling. Also much pains (sic!) is taken for the choosing "Shoji" paper doors for the rooms and "Fusuma" (paper doors between rooms) to make the room an artistic and refined one.
3Från albumet The Tea in Japan: A custom peculiar to Japan is the taking of tea amidst scenes where the cherry-blossoms and wisteria predominate. The tea-house is a Japanese institution; square platforms, about two feet high, covered with red blankets are provided for the pedestrians to rest themselves.
1Freestanding figure depicting a Benin dignitary with his two attendants. Late 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Function: During the stay of the frigate Vanadis in Bangkok during its circumnavigation (1883-1885), the Swedish archaeologist and ethnographer Hjalmar Stolpe (1841-1905) the first official director of the Museum of Ethnography (1900-1905), bought a small collection of Buddha statuettes. They are all richly decorated and gilded in the style that was prevalent in Bangkok during the latter part of the nineteenth century. This Buddha statuette depict “Buddha under the hood of the Naga (snake) king Muchalinda”. This is a scene from the life of the historical Buddha. According to tradition, Buddha sat for seven weeks at the base of a Banyan tree in deep meditation after he had reached the state of enlightenment. To protect Buddha against lightning and rain, the snake king Muchalinda, who lived under the tree, he wound his way from his den and wrapped himself seven times around the body of the Buddha and spread his cobra hood over Buddha’s head. Buddha could thus continue his meditation without cessation. On this particular statue the coiled up body of the snake king forms a throne for the Buddha and the Naga hood has been transformed into seven separate Naga heads. The canonical texts mention 32 attributes that characterise a Buddha. Most of them are physical marks. One of the most common is ushnisha, a crown protrusion that can sometimes resemble a royal turban. The depicted “Muchalinda Buddha” is crowned with a flame of fire or a jewel, which is a characteristic iconographical detail with Thai representations of Buddha. The flame of fire is a manifestation of Buddha’s being, which is filled with cosmic energy. This energy surrounds Buddha as radiance and gives his skin a golden hue, it shines through his monk’s robe so that it seems thin, diaphanous and sticking to the body and it bursts into a flame on Buddha’s head. Acquisition Purchased in Bangkok by Hjalmar Stolpe during a halt there during his circumnavigation with the Swedish naval frigate Vanadis. It appears that Stolpe bought the statuettes directly from the manufacturers. Why this is a masterpiece Though an object of high quality, it is neither an unusual nor a rare object internationally. However, it is unique in the collections of the Museum of Ethnography and has thus, because of this, acquired quite an importance and usefulness to this institution. The collections of the Museum of Ethnography mirror the contacts Sweden has had with far off societies and cultures, and Mainland Southeast Asia is for that reason less well represented than most other areas. History of the Object Purchased in Bangkok in by Hjalmar Stolpe during a halt there during his circumnavigation with the Swedish naval frigate Vanadis. It appears that Stolpe bought the statuettes directly from the manufacturers. Firstly it was included in the so called “Vanadis collections”, then together with the rest of this large collection contributing to the original holdings of the Ethnographic Museum. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: Forty-five theatre masks form a part of the Vanadis Collection, most of them are meant for the no-theatre. The no-theatre is counted as one of the oldest now living theatre traditions in the world. It got its present form during the first part of the fifteenth century, but has an even older ancestry. The no-theatre is usually called the theatre of the aristocracy, as opposed to the kabuki-theatre, whose audience used to come from the middle class. In both theatre-forms, the characters are all played with male actors. The usual term for a mask in Japanese is, kamen, which means “temporary face”. The words nohmen, with the meanings “face” and “surface”, and omote, which means “outside” are used to talk about no-masks. The no-masks are tools for change – of the face to specific characters and of the state on the stage. They symbolize the heart and soul of the character. The verb, which is used to describe that a no-mask is put on, means that you “attach” a face, a surface or an outside to the real outside, the face of the actor. The mask becomes a part of the actor’s body and acts together with the scene-costume to create the character. By not reproducing a particular feeling or a particular expression the mask can communicate a multiplicity of emotions and states. The actor can, through small movements of the face, make the mask shift its expression in a way that is remarkable. Acquisition Acquired in Kyoto by Hjalmar Stolpe (1841-1905) during a six weeks’ halt in Japan during the circumnavigation with the Vanadis 1883-1885. Hjalmar Stolpe was the archaeologist and ethnographer who managed to establish the Museum of Ethnography as a separate museum splitting the collections from those of the Museum of Natural History. Why this is a masterpiece No-masks are among the most sought after and treasured objects from Japan, exemplifying the long and unbroken tradition of Japanese crafts with its emphasis on maintaining minute high standards in every respect of making and using the objects. This mask is just one example from the collection. In accordance with the ethics adhered to in the Museum of Ethnography, they have generally not been repaired, only well taken care of, and remain as they were acquired in Kyoto. They are unusually early acquisitions of no-masks in Japan, just a decade after Japan opened up to foreign contacts. History of the Object The collection of no-masks to which this particular item belongs originally formed a part of the so-called “Vanadis” collection that Hjalmar Stolpe amassed when he took part in the circumnavigation of 1883-1885 with the Swedish naval ship Vega. It belong s to a sub-collection brought together in Kyoto totalling more than 500 items. The Vanadis collection was added to the museum collections in 1887. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: From kaya, “up towards the mountain”, i.e. the volcano Gunung Agung, the abode of the gods and the heavenly sphere, flows forces of blessing down to the humans. In the opposite direction lies kelod “down towards the sea”, which is seen as a home of evil spirits and destructive powers which emanate from the underworld. In Balinese cosmology equilibrium is thought to prevail between these two poles, divine and demoniac, upper world and lower world, order and chaos. If this state is disturbed the cosmic powers become unbalanced and evil spirits and demons may roam freely. To restore the equilibrium the menacing and dangerous must be neutralised. Several Balinese dance dramas serve exactly this purpose to control and force back evil spirits. This happens for example in the dance drama Calon Arang. The main character in the drama is Rangda, the wrathful, destroying side of the widow Calwanarang from Girah. Furious that no man dares to marry her beautiful daughter because of the mother’s knowledge of black magic she turns to the death goddess Durga to receive her permission for vengeance. With Durga’s help she is transformed into the terrible witch Rangda that spreads pestilence and destruction across the country. Rangda is rendered harmless by the wise and holy Mpu Bharadah, who kills her demoniac self and thus delivers her. A south Balinese village usually owns two Rangda masks. One is kept in the village temple, Pura Desa, the other in the underworld temple, Pura Dalem. These masks have been carved directly from a growing kapok tree. At an consecration ceremony the masks are “charged with power”. The power is connected with the underworld and the death goddess. That is why a consecrated mask is dangerous. At the same time the Rangda masks protect the village from destructive, evil and sickness generating powers, which they chase away with their mere presence. The Rangda figure thus has a beneficial side. Acquisition Acquired by Åke Kistner (1908-1976). Between 1937 and 1939 he lived in Bali, where he during the two first years brought together a sizeable collection which he donated to the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. Why this is a masterpiece This particular mask has been chosen as an example of similar wooden objects from Bali exemplifying that kind of "art" before it became popular with tourists and masks were turned out in large quantities for the tourist market. History of the Object History before the acquisition made by Åke Kistner not known. Since 1938 it has been with the Museum of Ethnography. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: Function In a collection of more than 600 objects primarily from Bali, but also from Lombok, Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi, there is a small wooden sculpture depicting a male dancer. The legs are bent and turned somewhat outwards, the feet, with the weight on the heels, touch the ground in a light springy step. The dancer is about to shift position and has been caught in the moment of movement by an unknown artist. The costume of the figure, the long waist shawl with its ends hanging down in artfully draped folds, the broad neck collar and the large decorative hair ornaments, is carried by many of the dancers in Balinese dance dramas. There are iconographical similarities with dress and decorations of the dolls of the shadow play as well. The sculpture is somewhat damaged, which makes identification harder. It may show a character in one of the dance dramas Gambuh or Arja or show a baris dancer. The dancer has a keris on his back cut from retwel wood. From the back the head has a Garuda like appearance Acquisition Acquired by Åke Kistner (1908-1976). Between 1937 and 1939 he lived in Bali, where during the two first years, he brought together a sizeable collection which he donated to the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. Why this is a masterpiece This particular sculpture has been chosen as an example of small wooden sculptures from Bali exemplifying that art before it became popular with tourists and sculptures were turned out in large quantities for the tourist market. It has been chosen despite the fact that it was pretty damaged and slightly repaired when acquired: a broken arm, a crack right through the sculpture as well as some other damages. The value of an object for an ethnographic museum is not necessarily that it is in a mint condition. History of the Object History before the acquisition made by Åke Kistner not known. Since 1938 it has been in the Museum of Ethnography. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: In 1910 a collection of more than 500 objects was bought from the trading firm Umlauf in Hamburg. The collection contains objects from East Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa and Central America. Out of these, 74 are from the Ainu, the indigenous population on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan and on the Russian island of Sakhalin. This object is an ikupasuy. In older literature it was often called “mousrtache lifter”. It is one of the most important objects of the Ainu. The translation of ikupasuy as “mousetache lifter” existed in European languages already at the end of the sixteenth century. The notion that the object was only a practical tool to keep the mousetache protected when the Ainu men drank alcohol is a misconception that survived for a long time. The ornamented tree staffs incorporate, instead, a whole world of ideas and tell about the Ainu’s religion. To talk directly to the gods is unthinkable, and thus the ikupasuy acts as an intermediary. It is a messenger that sends the prayers to the gods. The staff is levelled at the worshipped object which is lightly sprinkled or the drops are sent towards the gods. Acquisition Ethnographic Museums, at the turn of the last century, very often augmented their collections from places and people which were badly represented or not represented in their museums by turning to one of several firms dealing with ethnographic objects. The most important ones were found in London and Hamburg. The most well sorted one in Hamburg was Umlauff, which supplied the Ethnographic Museum the collection which contained this object. This collection was bought by the Museum of Ethnography in 1910. Why this is a masterpiece This ikupasuy is presented more as an example of a category of objects that could be characterised as “masterpieces”. They are rich in symbolic content, exhibit great artistic skill, and reveal individual creativity. History of the Object Originally acquired in Japan (Hokkaido) by a collector working for or selling to Umlauff in Hamburg. In 1910 bought by Museum of Ethnography from Umlauff. The very earliest history not known. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: In the large Hedin collection belonging to the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, there are some robes, which in the archives are described as “lama robes”, i.e. intended for Buddhist priests in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It is probable that these are in fact Taoist priest robes. It is also possible that these robes were “annexed” into the Buddhist temples for their own use. The simple form of the Taoist robes and the fact that they are often lined with bass-fiber cloth incorporate the Taoist idea of the spiritual value in natural and rough materials. The ideal simplicity is a paradox since months of work is needed to make the garment. The pattern of the back piece is a cosmic diagram, where the pagoda symbolises the paradise. Each pattern has its own particular significance. Together they tell about the Taoist view of the Universe. Common Chinese symbols like dragons and cranes are also present. Sometimes Buddhist elements occur in the rich repertoire of symbols that this kind of robes draws upon. These priest robes are often called jiangyi, which can be translated as “red robe” or “the robe of descent”. It is one of two basic robe-models for Taoist purposes. Both of which have a history at least from the Song dynasty (960-1279). This model is still used. Continuity is thus one aspect on these clothes. Another is how robes can be used to express meanings, which can only be understood by those who are initiated in the context. Taoist robes are an example of how clothes can show mutual connection and community between those “who understand”. The robe is made of yellow silk-satin, richly embroidered with silk thread and paper gold, with an edging of black silk-satin ribbons and lined with tabby woven green silk cloth. The decorative elements of the garment can primarily be found on the back piece. It consists of cranes, butterflies, five-clawed dragons, bats, peony-vines and other flowers, arabesque patterns and clouds. Central motifs are a pagoda, cranes, phoenix-birds, gold dots (symbolising stars), the Sun with the three-legged bird and the Moon with the Moon Hare. There are trigram patterns on the black edging. The robe is buttoned with a knot button on the front. Acquisition Acquired during Sven Hedin’s last expedition 1927-35, to be more precise on the 20th of January 1931 Export cleared by the Chinese authorities at the time. Why this is a masterpiece The present robe may serve as en example of the exquisite workmanship going into ceremonial costumes supplied to temples and monasteries during the Qing Dynasty. It also provides an idea of the wealth of motives and meanings that could be displayed on such garments. History of the Object The object was acquired in Beijing on the 20th of January 1931. Its earlier history is not known. Hedin’s ethnographer at that time, Gösta Montell, was mainly instrumental in bringing together the ethnographic collections. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: Statue of Vajrapani, a major Mahayana Bodhisattva, to be placed in a temple hall, preferably at its entrance since he is variously fierce and compassionate. He appears as a defender of the Buddhist doctrine and is also associated with the removal of obstacles. In the triad where Avalokiteshvara stands for compassion and Manjushri for wisdom, he symbolizes power. The statue represents what could be called Sino-Tibetan or Sino-Mongolian religious art. It illustrates the rich iconography and complicated symbolism generally found in Tibetan art. Vajrapani holds a vajra in his right hand and tramples live snakes under his feet. He is dressed in a tiger-skin loincloth and flames stand out from his eyebrows and hair – all symbolically expressing his fearful character. The rich jewels and the crown, on the other hand, communicate his benign nature. Acquisition The total set of six statues, including the Vajrapani, was acquired by the Swedish explorer and geographer Sven Hedin on February 13, 1930 from the Mongolian owners of the deserted temple Efi Khalkha, then situated in Chahar, Inner Mongolia. Hedin had encountered the temple a year earlier on a journey to the area, and found it abandoned by its owners, who had been overrun by Chinese settlers. Everything had been taken away or been destroyed apart from the big statues, and the temple itself was probably to be dismantled by a Chinese entrepreneur. Hedin got in touch with the Mongolian owners and a year later he was able to conclude a deal and acquired the statues. They were cleared by the Chinese authorities before being exported. Why this is a masterpiece The set including the Vajrapani, is unique in Western collections, since such large scale statues are rarely seen there. They display craftsmanship of the highest order, and stylistically they are related to the school developed in Mongolia by the famous sculptor and abbot, Zanabazar, known for its relative simplicity and beauty. History of the Object The statue had been a part of the religious paraphernalia that had turned the Efi Khalka temple into a place of worship. Its history before then is not known. Together with the other statues it could have been commissioned for that temple. It was acquired by Sven Hedin for the so-called Hedin-Bendix collections, which in turn was associated with the project of bringing a temple to Chicago and one to Stockholm for the display of Tibetan Buddhist objects. (The result was Hedin’s commissioning of a full scale, exact copy of the so called “Golden Temple” in Chengde/Jehol.) (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: This sword belonged to a man from the Paiwau, one of the indigenous groups on Taiwan, from whom it was acquired by a collector for Umlauff, the major ethnographic trading house in Hamburg. Taiwanese indigenous groups were known and feared for headhunting and this particular sword had evidently been used in such activities. The sword is made of iron while the handle and scabbard are made of wood, which have been coloured black. The latter are richly decorated with carvings depicting human figures, which in turn have been coloured red. Attached to the scabbard there are some feathers and a tuft of human hair, the latter is coloured red. Acquisition: Acquired by a local collector Mr. G. Makahara (Nakahara?), who in 1907 visited a number of indigenous groups on Taiwan purchasing objects for the ethnographic trading house Umlauff. Umlauff then published a simple catalogue of collections for sale, then also including objects from a number of other areas in Oceania and Africa. The whole collection was bought by the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, where it was accessed in 1909. It contained 149 objects from the indigenous groups of Taiwan. Purchasing objects from trading houses like Umlauff was one way in which ethnographic museums in the West at the turn of the last century could acquire objects from areas with which they did not have direct contacts of their own. Umlauff could sometimes offer more or less complete inventories of the material culture of “attractive” cultures or ethnic groups, even organised as dioramas. In this case an assortment of separate, even unrelated objects was acquired by the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. Why this is a masterpiece The material culture of the indigenous groups of Taiwan is not well represented in Western museum, and these group are among the least studied by modern anthropologists (though cf. Cauquelin: 2004). Their culture, then not of the least linguistic importance as an interface between mainland Asia and the island world of Oceania, is now well recognised. In the descriptions of encounters with them much attention is paid to the institution of headhunting, though rarely well understood. The present object provides an example of this interest in what was considered an exotic and awe-inspiring institution. It acquires added importance because of the contextual information that goes with the object. History of the Object It was acquired in 1907 on Taiwan (or “Formosa”, as the documents from that time state) from a Paiwau man, by the Umlauff collector Mr. G. Makahara (Nakahara?). Its history before then is not known, but it had evidently taken part in the ubiquitous warfare that characterised relationships both between and within the indigenous groups of Taiwan, also including taking heads as trophies. An excerpt from a letter from Mr. G. Makahara (Nakahara dated Hozan, Formosa 16 February 1907 provides an idea of the conditions under which the collection was brought together. It also reveals some values adhered to by the collector: “I have just returned from travelling and collecting in the Hongo and Paransha districts of the Atayal group of savages. At Paransha we met with a great disaster. We were attacked at night by the Atayals . I had five policemen and a number of friendly savages with me. Three of my natives were killed and had their heads taken, and we had our swords and knives taken from us. However, we managed to escape in the dark. The boundary of this savage group is now surrounded by a cordon of policemen, who keep watch day and night. These Atayals with the Ami are the two most cruel groups of savages in Formosa”. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: Tibetan paintings. Thangka are usually painted on cotton, sometimes on silk, and executed according to fixed iconometric rules, following written texts. The motives they depict are of different kinds, but almost exclusively in some way they relate to Buddha’s words, Buddhist cosmology and rituals, Buddhist history and biography, Buddhist (and sectarian) religious personalities and lineages. In a way one could say that they are visualised texts. Their role as “teaching aids”, not only for religious practitioners (monks and nuns) but also for lay people, could earlier be seen when wandering monks and nuns could recite religious texts/stories pointing to thangkas for their audience to better follow the story and grasping the instructions given. This thangka is the first one in a set of 19 thangkas, which provide a running account of the life of one of Tibet’s most famous and revered “saints-yogis”, Milarepa, the “cotton-clad” (1040-1123). The lower register of this thangka starts with his birth, seen in the left bottom corner and how his father is called home from the market to give his son a name, Töpaga. The upper register shows Milarepa sitting in an easy position on a lotus throne against a backdrop of ever higher mountains. He is surrounded by the lineage of the Tibetan Buddhist sect/order into which he had been initiated, Kagyu. The supreme Buddha, according to the Kagyu called Vajradhara, is seen at the top and it is dark blue in appearance. Below him are two important Indian masters who are considered direct ascendants to Milarepa in the order. Tilopa is signalled by a golden fish and Naropa is carrying a skull bowl (kapala). Between them, right above Milarepa’s head one can see his highly learned but also demanding master, Marpa. On each side of Milarepa the standing figures are his two principal pupils, to the right Rechungpa, who wrote his biography, namtar, and to the left Gampopa, who carried the lineage on. Below Milarepa there is a scene depicting some of those adversaries that Milarepa had to fight or debate with during his long journey to perfection; in this case the “five flesh-eating dakinis (female “sky-walkers”), Tseringma and her sisters. Acquisition Acquired during the last of Sven Hedin’s expeditions (1927-35) by his ethnographer. Gösta Montell. Acquisition took place in Beijing on the 14th of February 1930. Export was cleared by the Chinese authorities. Why this is a masterpiece The set to which this particular thangka belongs, is a rare and complete example of narrative thangkas, furthermore depicting the biography of one of the Tibetan world’s most beloved personalities. It is exceptionally well painted and unusually well preserved. It does not only exemplify religious practices but is also replete with ethnographic detail contained in the countless scenes that make up the total life story of Milarepa. History of the Object The set of thangkas, to which the present one belongs, was acquired on the 14th of February 1930 in Beijing for the so-called Hedin-Bendix collection. That collection then belonged to the so-called Hedin Expedition which upon Sven Hedin’s death in a way became a part of the Sven Hedin Foundation before, like Hedin’s other archaeological and ethnographic collections, becoming the property of the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. The history before the acquisition in Beijing is not known. Most likely it was housed in a temple or monastery. Some thangkas show signs of having been exposed in such a milieu, but the overall condition of the set is so good that permanent exposure is unlikely. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function: Used in shamanic rituals/séances among the Chakass of the Minushinsk area, upper Jennisey basin, Southern Siberia. A short, and far from complete description of the drum could read like this: The front side of the drum, the skin (čagyčych) is painted with a cosmological representation of the upper world of the high God (Kubaj Khan) also containing a stylized Milky Way (tiger-kurum), being separated from the underworld, whose greedy ruler is Ärlik Khan, by three lines representing “the three layers of our earth”, in red, black and white). In the under-world human beings and animals can be seen, and spirits who assist the shaman. Two birch trees can be seen as well, associated with the realm of death. The back side is no less symbolic in its construction, with a horizontal and a vertical bar, with the intricately shaped and ornamented handle of the drum, bells made of brass as well as iron, small sickle-formed pendants and strips of cloth. All have their expressed meanings and functions, the last ones (čalaba) being associated with the power that the shaman wields. The drum is beaten with a stick made of a bone. The drum and the stick are metaphorically spoken of as the shaman’s “horse and whip”, his “bow and arrow”, his “boat and rudder”. Acquisition Acquired by the Swedish Orientalist Fredrik Robert Martin (1868-1933) during his travels in the Ob and Yenisey areas in 1891, a journey mainly for acquiring ethnographic and archaeological collections. From his report one can learn about the exact circumstances of the acquisition: “ By chance I was informed that an old shaman drum could be found on board a lodkorna (local boat). After many difficulties the owner brought it out, which resulted in protracted haggling. I was absolutely determined to acquire the drum, but its owner was equally determined not to sell it. At the end, somewhat annoyed, he said `I am not selling it for less than 6 rubels, calculating that at such a price nobody would be willing to pay. I immediately handed over what he had just demanded, which made him rather concerned. Some other old men expressed their anger over the fact that he had parted with such a rare object. I had to increase the sum to calm them down-- a bottle of vodka surely contributed to this.” Why this is a masterpiece Shaman drums are much sought after by Ethnographic museums since they provide a rare entry into and an explicit form against which one can talk about the complex cosmological world contained in shamanic religion and shamanic praxis. They are also often aesthetically beautiful pieces to behold and contemplate over. Among the shaman drums owned by the Ethnographic museum this is surely the best preserved one, and furthermore the one that most clearly conveys a number of basic principles in shamanic cosmology. History of the Object In 1892 F.R. Martin sold this object to the Museum of Ethnography as part of a big collection brought together in Siberia. Before that the object had evidently belonged to a shaman from the chakass people (who speak a northern Turkic language). Martin called these people “Abakantartars”. It is uncertain whether the man who sold the drum to Martin was the shaman who had once used it. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function Armour, or “uniform” for a Manchu military commander during the Qing (Manchu) dynasty. Originally designed for riding its cut in many ways reflect this, foremost in its open back. The sleeves have been given the shape of horseshoes revealing this equestrian background. The armour worn by military officials was adorned with studs and all kinds of exquisitely embroidered designs of almost three dimensional character showing dragons and other mythical animals, meant to indicate the wearer’s rank. It was equipped with shoulder plates, armpit plates and chest plates, which were attached to the armour with the help of buttons. Evidently the armour had little protective potential in modern warfare, though still worn in action. Its appearance was more to display military insignia and they appear to mirror traditional military interest in flair and concern with the display of rank and status. In some ways these late Qing dynasty armours border to Chinese theatrical costumes, though they might have been more inspired by the armours worn during the Tang dynasty, which were surely more of the protective kind. The costume also has a helmet. Acquisition Acquired by Thorild Wulff (1877-1917) in 1912 during a few months (August to December) of collecting in China. Accessed by the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm in 1915. Why this is a masterpiece The present armour has been chosen as just one example from the large collections of Chinese textiles that the museum houses. They are often stunning to look at with intricate designs and skilfully executed ornaments. History of the Object The history of the object before Mr. Thorild Wulff (1877-1917) in 1912 acquired the objects on behalf of the Museum of Ethnography is not known. In 1915. it was brought into the care of the Museum of Ethnography. This particular armour does not display any clear sign of having been worn. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/Default.aspx)
1Function The kris or keris is a type of dagger known from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. A keris is characterised by two specific features: the blade is asymmetric and is made of layer upon layer of iron mixed with nickel or meteorite iron containing nickel, which is worked into a watered pattern, pamor, on the blade itself. The keris was forged into a weapon for defence, sudden attack, or official execution. A well-made keris is considered to have, kasekten - cosmic energy, which manifests itself as an inherent power in the blade, giving it the ability to avert sickness, danger and sudden death as well as conferring happiness and good fortune. This could explain the surviving tradition on Java to bring your favourite dagger on long journies or to important meetings. However, a keris that is too “powerful” for its owner will bring him unhappiness. The character of the keris should correspond to that of its owner. The shape and decoration of the blade must also be suitable to the owner’s social position. Keris and owner are thus so intertwined that the keris of a man even can act as his deputy. This can be illustrated with the earlier custom of wedding a bride of lower social status than the groom with his keris. Acquisition Long term deposit by the Royal Armoury. Original history, see below. Why this is a masterpiece Because of its age and early history, having been connected to the curiosity cabinet of Duke Fredrik III of Holstein-Gottorp History of the Object This particular keris belonged to the Swedish Queen, Hedvig Eleonora (1636-1715). The keris is mentioned in an inventory made by the Swedish Royal Armoury in 1696, which, in translation, describes “5 small “pungiorter” (the Swedish rendering of the poignards, French for dagger) with flame or wave-shaped blades, with accompanying sheaths of wood. One of these poignards has a hilt of ebony, one has an antler hilt and three have wooden hilts. All of them were graciously donated by Her Majesty the Queen Dowager”. The father of Queen Hedvig Eleonora, Duke Fredrik III of Holstein-Gottorp was well known for his library and “Kunstkammer” (Curiosity cabinet). In 1649 the famous and well-travelled mathematician, astronomer and ethnographer at the ducal court, Adam Olearius (1603-1671), became the librarian. It is not unlikely that the five “poignards”, i.e. kerises, come from this Curiosity Cabinet. They probably reached Holstein-Gottorp from Holland, from which place the first expedition to the East Indies was sent in 1595. The shaping of the keris’ hilt indicates that the dagger probably originated in Java. The ethnographic objects of the collections found in the Royal Armoury are long since deposited to the Museum of Ethnography. (Virtual Collection of Masterpieces)
1Girl's costume Made from treated deerskin decorated with elk teeth, glass beads and flannel. Blackfeet or Blackfoot Sioux. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008)
1Gök-Mestjid, the "Blue Mosque", In Tabriz. (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Gulam Hussein together with my riding camel, outside Veramin (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Head ornament. A stuffed deer head worn by El venado during the dance. The skin has been stripped from the head, the bones have been removed and cleaned, and eyes of glass have been put in. the antlers are decorated with red silk ribbons and silk tassels. Long ears made of skin and sewn together are tied on under the antlers. Leather straps for tying the deer head firmly onto the head of the dancer. Acquired at Tlaxcala. (Montell 1938, s. 156)
1Hip ornament displaying a human face, generally worn by chiefs at their left hip, covering the closure of their wrapped skirts. Late 19th ceentury. (Staden-Benin)
1Hip ornament displaying a human face, generally worn by chiefs at their left hip, covering the closure of their wrapped skirts. Late 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Horse tail decoration Decorated with quill. Assiniboine, Crow or Sioux. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1In 1910 a collection of more than 500 objects was bought from the trading firm Umlauf in Hamburg. The collection contains objects from East Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa and Central America. Out of these, 74 are from the Ainu, the indigenous population on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan and on the Russian island of Sakhalin. This object is an ikupasuy, in older literature often called "moustache lifter". It is one of the most important objects of the Ainu. The translation of ikupasuy as "moustache lifter" existed in European languages already at the end of the sixteenth century. The notion that the object only was a practical tool to keep the moustache away when the Ainu men drank alcohol is a misconception that survived for a long time. The ornamented tree staffs incorporate, instead, a whole world of ideas and tell about the Ainu's religion. To talk directly to the gods is unthinkable, and thus the ikupasuy acts as an intermediary. It is a messenger that sends the prayers to the gods. Alcoholic beverages (earlier millet beer, later Japanese sake) are central in several rites. The pointed tip of the staff is dipped into the alcohol, which is poured into expensive lacquered tree bowls on racks, which have been bought from Japanese artisans and used in this way since the seventeenth century. In the Ainu religion several of the most important gods are present in the home, like the fire-goddess in the hearth. The staff is levelled at the worshipped object which is lightly sprinkled or the drops are sent towards the gods. When the men are ritually imbibing alcohol in connection with the ceremony the staff can be used precisely to protect the moustache, but that is of minor importance. An Ainu man made his own ikupasuy. The patterns exhibit great variation. It may be stylised flower- or animal designs, geometrical motives or more realistic ones and bordering on figurines on the upper side as well as signs, which show the owner of the object. The form itself is usually similar with a pointed tip called "the tongue" - after all, it helps in talks with the gods. On the upper- and under-side of an ikupasuy there are about ten different components all with their own designation. Libation spoons, ikupasuy, are very likely the most common Ainu object found in any ethnographic collection, though there is only one more in this particular collection. Their beautiful and individual design, surely account for this, together with the fact that ainu-men evidently produced them in great numbers
1In ancient Japan different groups of people fought each other. The people who made the weapons were very skilled. But during times of peace the people didn't need as many weapons. The armorers then proved how skilled they were by making ornaments. They usually portray animals that look almost real. This little bird is a symbol of war.
1In Benin thought the leopard is considered the chief symbol of royal power. The leopard is seen as a counterpar to the Oba in the animal kingdom, while the Oba is named the "leopard of the Home". Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Indonesian stamp exhibition The first Indonesian postage stamp was issued on April 1, 1864 with a nominal value of ten Dutch cents. The portrait of King Willem III was printed on it. Prior to this, the word "Franco" was printed on the envelope as an official indication that the required postage had been paid. The word "franco" later became "prangko" or "perangko" which means postage stamp. In celebrating 130 years of Indonesian stamps, the directorate General of Posts and Telecommunications issued a commemorative stamp depicting the temple of Borobudur, one of the wonders of the world. The famous temple which was built between 778-856 AD. was chosen because it has appeared on stamps in three different historical periods, the Dutch colonial period, the Japanese occupation and after the formation of the Republic of Indonesia. Development of philately in Indonesia. PT post indonesia (PT Post Indonesia) is striving to achieve a target of one million philatelists by the end of Pelita VI (Sixth Five-year Development Program ending in 1999). In 1993 there were 145,000 philatelists in Indonesia. Soon after issuance of the Indonesian stamps, the Dutch people in Indonesia started the hobby of collecting stanps. On March 29, 1922, the stamp collectors formed a philatelic association, known as "Vereiging van postzegelverzamelaars in Nederlands-Indie" (VPNI) or Association of Stamp Collectors in the Dutch East Indies. This organization experienced a number of name changes during all these years. Since 1990 it is called Indonesian Philatelists Association. The general theme for Indonesian stamps issued since 1965 have been taken from development related to activities, covering all aspects of life. Agriculture, Industry, Transportation and Communications, Trade, Cooperative and Buisness, Workers and Human Rights, Population and Family Planning, Social Welfare, Women, Children and Public Health, Young People and Sports, Education and Iinformation, Culture and Tourism, Politics, Law, National Security and Foreign Relations, Rural Development and the Environment, Science and Technology, Religion. Text from the Indonesian Embassy
1Japan boasts a long and rich theatrical tradition. One of the oldest forms still presented, nô, can be traced to the fourteenth century. The teams performing nô dramas were supported by the important families of the country. Accordingly, nô was to become a part of the refined culture of the leading classes. During the Edo period (1600–1868) the art of performing nô attained the strictly regulated structure known today. A nô theatre is traditionally found adjacent to a temple. The dramas transmit Buddhist ethics. Nô dramas are performed on a small stage (butai).The actors are men, who also perform female characters. First of all three to four musicians (hayashi) enter the stage, with drums and a flute. They are followed by a choir (jiutai), consisting of six or eight men, who in a poetic language and with great seriousness convey the substance of the play and the thoughts of the characters. Preceding the appearance of the main character (shite), the supporting character (waki) has already entered the stage. His character is more often than not a priest. The interaction between the two gives the drama its nerve. Less significant roles are played by accompanying actors (tsuge) or by child actors (kokata). The actors, in particular the shite, are dressed in sumptuous robes of silk and brocade. The shite and his supporting actors wear masks indicating the roles played. The others present on stage assume stiff faces, void of expression. The dramas take place among the living, the dead or the gods narrating stories drawn from actual history or religious myths. Movements and the handling of props (kodōgu), such as a fan, indicate the progress of the drama and the emotions that reign. In the intervals between the acts of the nō dramas the serious mood is temporarily broken when kyōgen actors, often wearing special masks, take over. Acting in a burlesque way, using everyday language, they communicate the contents of the drama in a direct way.
1Junior court official holding a calabash rattle. Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Korean children dressed up for New Years feast.
1Korean potter on his way to market. (Bergman 1938:217)
1Korean women bear all burdons on their head except shildren, who are carried on the back. (Bergman 1938:217).
1Kuda kepang is an Indonesian dance. It means braided horse. The dancers each ride on a horse of braided bamboo. It starts slow but gets wilder and wilder. The dancers often fall into a trance, where the spirits take over. They fight invisible enemies. Sometimes they eat glass or walk on burning embers. In the end the leader wakes them.
1Leaders of the Sino-Swedish Expedition studying a map (c. 1927-28). Xu Bingchang, a professor of philosophy at Peking University (left), Sven Hedin (center), and Yuan Fuli, a geologist (right) (Lightman et. al., 2013:234)
1Leopard figurine. The leopard was in the old Benin a symbol for the Oba's spiritual and physical powers, which were traditionally regenerated by yearly sacrifices of a leopard. 19th century (Staden-Benin)
1Leopard skull cast in brass, an object which was traditionally fastened to a long pole and borne before the Oba at ceremonies aimed at cleansinig his kingdom from evil. 17th - 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Leo Sternberg, (1861-05-03 - 1927-08-14), was a Russian and Soviet ethnographer of Jewish origin, professor at the University of Leningrad, Chief Ethnographer of the Museum for Ethnography, and Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of the U. S. S. R. In his youth, immediately after completing his university studies in Odessa, he was arrested for participating in the Russian revolutionary movement and after serving a three years’ jail sentence he was exiled to Saghalin for a period of ten years. Here, amidst the most distressing conditions of life and the greatest privations, surrounded by Gilyak and Ainu, he developed a live interest in the customs and beliefs of rude peoples. The remainder of his life was devoted to their investigation. Since 1901 he was actively engaged at the Museum for Anthropology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences; and in 1915 he became Professor and Dean of the Ethnographic Faculty of the Geographical Institute, which was later combined with the University of Leningrad. He passed away in Duderhof near Leningrad. (Eugen Kagaroff, American Anthropologist, 1929)
1Lone Elk [Herak Isula; Lakota (Teton/Western Sioux)] in traditional clothing. (Smithsonian Institution)
1Man's shirt Likely deerskin, treated so as to be soft even when wet. Decorated with among other things quill (flattened, colored and sewn porcupine needles), and an early type of glass beads. Blood, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Crow or Mandan. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008)
1Man’s ceremonial saddle Decorated with quill. Blackfeet or Sioux. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1Mask of skin and wood Gan mask. Represents a mountain spirit. With symbolic decorations in black and blue and a rattle cluster of four sticks on the horn tips. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008)
1Model of the Golden Temple from original in Chengde, China, ordered by Sven Hedin, made in Beijing in 1930 During Sven Hedin’s last expedition to Central Asia (1927-35) a substantial collection of Sino-Tibetan Bud-dhist art was gathered. It was to be displayed in a real temple, also acquired in China. However, this proved impossible, and an exact copy was commissioned of one of the most beautiful temples found in Chengde (Jehol), the summer residence of the Qing dynasty, north of Beijing. It was decided to copy the Golden Temple, Wan Fa Gui Yi; the central temple of the large temple complex Pu Tou Zhong Shen, (Little Potala), originally built between 1769 and 1771. Its exterior was inspired by Dalai Lama’s huge Potala palace in Lhasa. At the same time two models, scale 1/10, were made. One of them belongs to the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. It is the one displayed here. The full scale copy of the Golden Temple was made piece by piece in Beijing in 1930. The very best artisans available were hired for the task, and the resultant copy was identical to the original temple in Chengde (Jehol). Its size is imposing; its ground plane measures 22x22 m, and its height to the finial is 19 m. When ready the copy was displayed at two major world exhibitions; in Chicago 1933-1934, and in New York 1939. Its interior was then entirely furnished with appropriate objects of all kinds now belonging to the Hedin collections of the Museum of Ethnography. The temple itself has since then had an adventurous history. In 1985 it was transferred to Sweden with the intention to assemble and erect it somewhere in the country. If this eventually happens Sven Hedin’s original plans would be fulfilled.
2Most often they are known as Komainu. In Japan you usually encounter statues of this kind at the entrance to Shinto shrines, but you may also see them in connection with Buddhist temples and prominent tombs. Today they may also flank the entrance to private and commercial buildings. They are regarded as guardians of the entrance to these places, which they protect against malevolent spirits. The popular Western term for them, ´guardian lions´, reflects this. (In the Japanese case a more proper term would actually be ´guardian dogs´.) Entering the shrine you will have the male one, os on your left, while the female one, mes, will be on your right side. But they can also be placed next to one another, on only one side of the entrance. The male one is slightly taller and is distinguished by a hornlike protuberance, tuno, on its head, which serves as a weapon against evil spirits. It keeps its mouth shut and is believed to inhale while uttering a-un! (derived from the primordial sound, according to Indian cosmology, ´u-hum´ or ´om´). The female one keeps its mouth open, exhales and utters a! The prototypes for these Japanese statues are found in China, where they are known since more than 2000 years, and are much more common. In China they are called ´shishi´ ´Chinese lions´ and are seen guarding the entrance not only to all kinds of temples and sacred places, but also to official and private buildings. Allegedly they have been shaped to look like lions, being inspired by symbolic and ornamental lions found in India and Persia, where they already in ancient times expressed statehood and power. Since lions are not found in the wild in China it is evident that the look of domestic dogs has contributed to their appearance. This double nature of theirs has followed them to Korea and Japan. New casts will be made of the ´´korean dogs´, here on display. In 1938 they were donated to the Museum of Ethnography by Mr. K. Anderson, jeweller to the Royal Court. Previously the same year he had acquired them in Kyoto, Japan (cf. photos 1. and 2.). Apparently, these particular statues, which are cast in bronze, were found positioned close together facing an old traditional street next to the entrance of a private house (otherwise it is hard to imagine how they could have been acquired). For many years they were placed outside the old buildings of the Museum of Ethnography (cf. photo 3.). The new statues will guard our new museum, built at the same site. (text written in 2008 whem the new statues were to be founded)
1Musical instrument with ibis During the Ugie Oro ceremony the bird’s beak is hit by a metal stick. Legend has it that a bird once warned the Oba not to attack a neighbouring realm. The Oba did not heed the advice. After returning home as a conqueror he founded the ceremony of Ugie Oro, as a reminder of the oracular bird’s mistake. In other words, the Oba is more powerful than nature itself. 1907.44.376. Probably 18th century (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1Native trying to reach the nest of the broad¬billed roller. (Bergman 1938)
1<0x0d><0x0a>Nô masks and Nô costumes Nô dramas offer strong visual experiences, not least through the masks and costumes worn by the actors. The masks may be divided into six groups: the "unique ones" which are connected to special plays (tokushu); demons and gods (kijin); old men ( jô); boys and young men (otoko); women and girls (onna); and ghost/spirits (ryô). They are carved out of wood, which is painted with appropriate colours and lacquered. Sometimes hair is attached. The characters they depict have their distinguishing forms and expressions. Many master carvers are well known and revered. Masks with their brands can still be used many hundred years after they were carved. The costumes are usually sumptuous, created out of exquisite silk and brocade, exhibiting detailed patterns in beautiful natural colours. They are called karaori, "Chinese weave", and their origin is found in the costumes once imported exclusively for the leading families in the country, who could then donate them to nô companies. Few old costumes have survived the ravages of time. Fortunately, there are masters today who can recreate them.
1Omaruru, 7 November 1874 "In the evening Mr Eriksson and I were sitting at this mother-in-law. He then showed me a Bushman boy who lay sleeping in a box. He had bought this child, who was almost dead from starvation, from a Baster; he had given a rifle for it. A Baster had killed child's parents, and it had since then gone through many hands. Mr E had bought it only to save it from starvation. Mr Eriksson kindly gave this child to me and my wish to get a Bushman child was thereby granted. Mr E had given a rifle costing £5 for the cild. The child has been given the name Joseph, which suits him rather well as he, in the same manner as the patriarch, had been sold by his brothers. He is of the Onguaoa tribe" (De Vylder 1998:218) 12 December 1874, Saturday (…) "Today a Damara brought me a little Bushman girl who seemed to be about the same age as Joseph, and wanted me to buy her for a double-barrelled gun, but I wanted to give only a rifled musket. During the day I bought a milch-goat. In the afternoon we had target shooting." (De Vylder 1998:225) 6 April 1875 (aboard Prince of Wales, Walvis Bay to Cape Town, argument with Dr Hahn, German doctor) (…) "Now he swung over to another subject and, pointing at Joseph, he said: 'Does Mr De Vylder believe that he can make a Swede out of that monkey?' 'I have not planned to make a Swede of him, but a German', I replied. 'How are you going to do that?' snarled the doctor. 'It is easy', I replied, 'for nothing more is required than to teach him always to have his mouth full of big words.'" (De Vylder 1998:258)
1On the way to Iran: A mosque in Trebisond, Turkey (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Our house cat was a young lynx.
1Palace guard, equipped with a shield, keeping watch over the main entrance to the royal palace. Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Palace plaque with a winding python, another symbol of the divine kingship in Benin. Late 16th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Palace plaque with full-length portraits of three men, two of them in chiefly attire with ceremonial swords in their hands, and the third one smaller, naked, holding a fan. 19th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Palace plaque with two mudfish, one of the most popular sacrificial animals in Benin. Owing to its ability to live both in wateer and on land the mudfish symbolizes the dual character of the Oba as both man and god. Mid 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Participants during the 10th day of rituals durin Moharem, Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1People who use this drum dance and play it at the same time. When they jump the metal beads in the cans on the sides rattle. The members of a dance group bought the material to make the drum 30 years ago. A person called Kalulu made the drum. The dance group used it when they performed at festivals.
1Persian man of high standing (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Portrait of a Prince of Wales Island man wearing a head dress. Created/Published approximately 1892(National Library of Australia).
3Portrait of a Prince of Wales Island man wearing a head dress. Created/Published approximately 1892 (National Library of Australia).
1Portrait of a young Maori woman with a feather in her long hair, wearing a large tiki and holding a carved flat greenstone club. She is dressed in a wraparound cloak with tassels, a moko has been added (inked) onto the print image. (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)
1Rattle of tortoise shell Used in the Iroquois’ religious society in which the participants often use masks. Eastern woodland area, Iroquois, Seneca. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1<0x0a><0x0a>Rattles, whistles, masks and drums Rattles are used in religious ceremonies and for example dances calling for rain. They also are a part of the shaman’s and medicine man’s sacred accessories for rituals aimed at restoring and maintaining the good health and harmony of an individual or group. Various forms of rattles exist made of shells or hooves which can be attached to the legs and used in performances with rattling effects. Whistles are used in religious ceremonies and dances, sometimes so that the spirits will pay attention to the purpose of the ceremony, for example, that Mother Earth will again be green and that animal life will thrive after a long winter. Masks have been used by people on all continents as a part of religious traditions. In the west masks are also used in festivals. For Indian people masks are among their most "charged" and sensitive ceremonial objects. Drums are used in religious ceremonies, together with fasting, thirst and pain, in order for the participants to reach an altered state, and thus receive a vision which is later interpreted by the shamans and medicine men. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Relief plaque depicting three Europeans, possibly a Portuguese merchant, seated on an archair with a herald and an escort soldier on either side. Mid 16th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Rewi Maniapoto, the great Maori fighting chief (Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa)
1Rightmire, G.P. 1974. Skeletal Contents of Bakuta Ancestral Baskets. Ur Contribution a l'Ethnographie des Kuta II. Red: E. Andersson. Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensia XXXVIII. Sid 200-212.
1Ring-shaped rattle Decorated with beaver skin, hanging strips of white wolf skin and quill. Northern plains, Assiniboine, Crow, Blackfeet? (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008)
1Royal memorial head bronze. Several large heads of this type-probably six or eight of them, made for a newly succeeding Oba of Benin to consecrate on the altar of his predecessor-mark the sudden decline of the great Benin style into the characteristic (and only occasionally avoided) bathos of the Late period (about 1650-1897), after a hundred years or more of artistic stability-the period of the rectangular plaques (see above), or Middle Period (lasting from about 1525 or 1550 to 1650). Seen by itself, this piece is still quite impressive; but decline from the dignified mean, the gravitas, of the Middle period becomes obvious enough when it is placed beside any of the 50 or more royal heads of the previous century, or indeed beside the bronze plaque in this collection. Exaggerations have crept in wich are apparently designed to increase the importance and visible pomp of royal representation: for example, the high beaded collar has now become impossibly high. The casting technique also now exhibits more imperfections. By William Fagg. The Georg von Békésy Collection. Page 172-173.
1Royal throne A kind of throne that the Oba today uses on non-ceremonial occasions. The relief shows a government officer, a warrior and various hunting weapons. 1907.44.404. 19th century (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010).
1Samma foto finns i albumet The New Year in Japan (Tamamura, Kobe, 1906, Meiji 39) med texten: The wind is good, the boys are quick to take advantage of it. They rush away with their kites, with almost naked legs (the Japanese boy is impervious to the effects of heat or cold), and, braving the chilly blast, they scream with joy and pride as they view their kites so high.
1Samurais The way of the warrior (bushidô) Japan, as we know it from the Edo period (1600-1868), was a strictly divided society in which a person was born into one of several classes. Every citizen occupied a position and fulfilled an occupation that was even laid down by law. On top came the warring nobility, the samurais. At the bottom of the scale were the traders and in between came peasants and craftsmen. The samurais, as a warring elite, are attested in history back to the early tenth century. Thereafter they played an ever more dominant role in Japanese history, until the Restoration of 1868 when they officially lost their privileged position. Then the emperor was reinstated as the formal ruler of the country. For almost a millennium his dynasty, with its divine origin, had mostly played a ceremonial role, while real power had been vested with the samurais. This class was not a homogeneous one. It consisted of families/clans that from time to time fought with or against one another, who could be close to or far removed from power and wealth. Men from their ranks formed the political order we know as the shogunate. From 1192 to 1868, during three shogunates, Japan was ruled by military regents wielding absolute power. Below them was a society of a feudal type characterised by mutual dependencies between master and vassal. Basically it was built to serve military purposes. Foot soldiers, mounted troops and commanders could be quickly mobilised. The samurais were never far removed from their weapons. The samurais developed a culture of their own, making them easy to recognise and marking their exclusive position. They had to care for their appearance, cultivate their minds and acquire various skills. Based on a Buddhist ethic, they developed what was to be known as “the way of the warrior” (bushidô), a path they were expected to follow. They were to be well-groomed and dressed, faithful and brave even when confronting death. They were to assign great value to honour, be respectful in front of superiors and show compassion to others. A samurai had to know the classics and be familiar with tea ceremonies. He was supposed to practise calligraphy and know how to compose poetry. From an early age he was trained to handle a sword, a bow and a lance, and to master a horse while engaged in battle.
1Shahid Mutahari Mosque, Tehran (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1<0x0a><0x0a>Shamanism The first people came to Americaat least 15,000 years ago. Shamanismlikely had important meaning then and is kept alive also today. Shamans, as well as a group or an individual, seek visions by going into a trance state. In these situations pipes, drums, masks may be included. The general purpose is to re-establish physical and mental health and preserve balance and harmony in daily life. After contact with the whites the religious traditions became mixed with Christianity, for example, the contemporary Native American Church. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Sheep being herded at Aliabad, on the way to Kum (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Shield Made from hard shrunken buffalo hide. The outer cover is soft leather. The pattern can have to do with a vision or solar eclipse. From the Plains or a neighboring area. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008)
2Shineran, one of the gates to Teheran (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Side-blown ivory trumpet, blown by the Oba's following as he appears in full ceremonial attire at the yearly palace rituals. 17th ceremony. (Staden-Benin)
1Silver and Turquoise work on display Necklace, bracelet, rings and broches of silver and turquoise and other green stones. The spotted green stone with drilled hole (mounted as a broche) is considered to have powerful healing qualities. It was owned by Richard Hogner’s daughter-in-law who was Navajo. Bracelet or wrist guard, silver plated with engravings and turquoise on the front, and a leather band on the back. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1Studio seated portrait of the unidentified wife of Chief Sinte Gleska or Spotted Tail or Sinte-Galeshka or Te-Gi-Le-Ska or Tshin-Tah-Ge-Las-Kah, wearing a pipebone and bead choker and drop earrings, and a fringed hide dress with an elaborately beaded yoke, woven sash, with her lower body wrapped in a blanket(?). Member of an 1872 delegation to Washington DC (National museum of the American Indian, läst 2016)
1tamurass album: Curing fish on primitive methods. The sun cures the fish rapidly, and without salt, if dealt with immediatly after being caught. Wagner, Ulla bilddokumentation
1Tea ceremonies and the way of the tea (chadô) Tea was introduced from China in the eighth century. It was a part of the rapid advances made by Buddhism in Japan. Thus, in the beginning tea was primarily consumed in the environment provided by a temple. Tea was considered to contain healing properties. Interest in tea, however, waned over the next few centuries. Towards the end of the twelfth century the Zen Buddhist monk Eisai returned from studies in China. He is famous for having reintroduced the custom of ceremonially drinking tea. History tells us that he turned to Minamoto Yoritomomo, founder of the first shogunate. Thus, tea ceremonies as well as Zen Buddhism gained support among the samurais. The kind of tea associated with tea ceremonies is a green dust tea (matcha), which is carefully stirred in hot water. Accordingly, the resultant tea also contains the finely pounded leaves, and is rich in stimulating substances. The monks consumed it while meditating to avoid falling asleep. The samurais used it primarily as a drink for social occasions. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the tea ceremony underwent further developments. It became increasingly conventionalised and aesthetic. The consumption of tea became closely associated with formal social intercourse. In 1568 Odo Nobunaga, one of the great warlords of his time, appointed three merchants to be his tea masters. One of them was Sen no Rikyô. As a practitioner of Zen he aspired to imbue the ceremony with simplicity and reserve. It was to be based on harmony (wa) between people, nature and the material world, respect (kei) for people and objects, and bodily as well as spiritual purity (sei). Together this would result in the peace of mind and tranquillity aimed at during the ceremony. Over time, however, absolute simplicity was complemented by an ambition to turn the ceremony into a composite work of art. The inner and outer architecture of the teahouse gained importance, as well as its surrounding garden. Patterns of movement during the ceremony became fixed. Tea bowls and other objects were to be rightly admired for their beauty.
1Text from Australian Register of Historic Vessels, ARHV, www.anmm.gov.au/arhv: The Gunggandji Indigenous outrigger canoe (Quensland museum, a canoe that is a similar canoe to 1920.14.0120) is a single outrigger vessel from the eastern side of Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia. It is one of very few examples of the 'square cut' outrigger that exist in other Australian collections, and the name is a reference to how the ends of the main hull are shaped. This is a single outrigger type which was first described in detail in the 1770 journals of Cook's Endeavour expedition during the period they were repairing Endeavour after their grounding on the Great Barrier Reef. The Gunggandji Indigenous outrigger canoe type was also documented by anthropologist Walter Roth when he was in the area in the late 1890s. His paper was published in 1910: North Queensland Ethnography Bulletin No 14, Transport and Trade. Roth observed various outriggers down the east and west coasts of Cape York, and recorded sketches and descriptions. There were distinct changes as he moved south, and this example is a type he observed from Mossman River down to Cape Grafton or Yarrabah. The main hull is a dugout with the hollowed out inside shaped from a single log. The more or less circular cross section has a narrow opening at the top and expert craftsmanship would have been needed to work in the concave areas at the sides of the interior. On the outside, the ends have a unique form. Both ends are cut square to the axis, and have a flap type extension of the bark and trunk remaining at the top, protruding around 400 mm or so beyond the cut. This extension is seen on other types further north but is usually restricted to the bow. Roth recorded that it was used as a platform for a hunter, from which he could spear turtle or dugong. Any other use or perhaps what they could symbolize is not recorded, however it is conceivable that they would also act as a spray deflector when heading into choppy seas, keeping water out of the hull. The outrigger hull is a much smaller diameter solid log, shaped a little at the ends. Roth's notes indicate that the float or outrigger is called 'bunul' by the Gunggandji people of Yarrabah. Bunul is the term used for the mullet fish and would reflect the outrigger's ability to easily glide tor skim across the watersurface. It is connected to the main hull with four sets of double beams and twin sticks forming an 'X' shaped cross. The sets of beams are lashed through holes to the main hull on both sides or gunwale edges of the opening in the main hull, and the branches on each pair are about 100 mm apart. The outer ends of the beams are then tied to the centre of the X, one above and one below the crossing of the sticks. The sticks are driven into holes in the outrigger. The double arrangement of beams, their spacing and securing at either end provides a degree of cross bracing and stiffness to the complete structure, which is basically a simple and effective cantilever operating in two planes; fore and aft, and vertically.
1<space>The 14 years old daughter of the "sejd" in Tebbes, together with her playmate (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The author and his Korean companion on a hunting trip for gorals. (Bergman 1938)
1The bazaar in Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The Building in Japan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913) : Next, the carpenter shaves the wood that have been cut by the sawers.
1The Building of Japan: After hard labouor taken by the carpenters and coolies, employed especially for the day of building, under the earnest management of the head carpenter, the building or framing work is completed at sunset. The celebration poles are made each bearing three fans indicating type of rising sun, fastned together and decorated with green leaves, five coloured hamp threads and white paper cut in the way indicating sacredness. And the carpenters carry them, making a procession together with the coolies singing songs celebrating the success. Then they stop first at the gate of the owner of the new building and leave one of the decorations, and the family gives them a fest of "sake" for the celebration.
1The Building of Japan : The building or framing work should be completed in a whole day. This is the most important day för the carpenters, for, has there been even the slightest error in measuring or making holes, the buildning work will become impossible.
1The Building ofJapan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913): Both inside and outside works are nearly finished and the mat-men are to take their parts trimming the mats to fit each room. They have to manage more than 60 "Tatami" or mats for this house.
1The Buildning in Japan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913) : Here the men are sharpening the saws for the sawers, which is a peculiar occupation belonging to themselves.
1The Buildning of Japan: Plastering the wall, over the bamboo. They have to undergo this process three times.
1The collection consists of twenty ethnographic albumen prints of North American Indians, commissioned by Prince Roland Bonaparte and photographed by Alfred Ayotte, plus two additional photographs of Bonaparte. The twenty albumen prints are part of a rare portfolio of thirty-five photographs titled Peaux Rouge: Collection Anthropologique du Prince Roland Bonaparte. They are sitting studio portraits of ten Northern Plains American Indians, two portraits each, full-face and profile. Photographs measure about 22 x 16.8 cm. and are mounted on heavy cardboard, with the series statement written in black ink at the foot of each plate. They are numbered in ink at the top left corner of the mount, each pair having the same number. All twenty plates bear Bonaparte's blind stamp with a crowned eagle: "Collection du Prince Roland Bonaparte." The American Indians pictured are primarily from Omaha and the Northern Plains. Represented in the collection are, in this order, John Pilcher, Homme Connu, Inside Man, Bright Eye (Susette La Flesche (1854-1903)), Hard Chief, Chef Du Bande, Mnigh-Di-Tai (Plains woman), White Crow, Luune Dure, and Beautiful Hill and Village Maker (a Plains woman and an Omaha boy). There are two additional photographs of Bonaparte which are not part of the Peaux Rouge collection. One is a standing studio photograph with Bonaparte leaning on a chair, measuring 26.8 x 20.5 cm; the second is a group photograph on board an Italian ship, measuring 23.2 x 18 cm. Both photographs bear the blind stamp of "Etienne Carjat & Cie., Photographe." (text på hemsida för Princeton University Library, Manuscripts Division, http://findingaids.princeton.edu/getEad?eadid=C1177, 2012-05-02)
1The craft could accommodate five or six people according to a report from anthropologist Walter Roth. He noted that they sat on the double beams passing through both gunwales, with their legs crossed over due to the narrow gap cut in the log. They were used along the shore and amongst the islands just offshore of this coastline. It is not recorded if they went further out to sea. The type is believed to be the most southern outrigger and dugout type used by Indigenous communities on the eastern coastline. The concept of the structure can be compared to the more sophisticated and detailed outriggers of Torres Strait, which would have been an influence on the development of the various mainland types of outrigger. This example was donated to the museum in 1915 by Dr Ronald Hamlyn-Harris. In 2010 it is on loan from the Queensland Museum and is on display at the Menmuny Museum at Yarrabah. (Australian Register of Historic Vessels, ARHV, www.anmm.gov.au/arhv)
1The exhibition 'Fetish Modernity", created by six European museums, invites visitors to explore the notion of modernity. It expands it and sees it not only in terms of technological development but also of creative dynamics observed across all eras and in all societies.
1The Georg von Békesy Collection, page 182-183. Wooden dance mask The Eastern Bapende live in a large L-shaped area on the Loange and Kasai rivers, in the middle of wich lies the Katundu chiefdom wich is the acknowledged place of origin of most of their best masks, including this mask, probalbly that known as kiwoyo (or in Katundu itself nzamba, "elephant", the traditional name or title of the chief).The meanings of the various names and types of masks are not now very clear, but it would appear that those with the long projection of the jhin are connected with hunting, particularily of small birds. The projection is described by the Bapende as mutumbi, "the chin," and not as the beard (for wich raphia is attached to the holes along its edges). This a beautiful mask, and the treatment of the lozenges along the centre line is a most unusual and ingenious way of taking advantage of the play of light while the mask is in motion. by Willian Fagg, The Georg von Békesy Collection, page 182-183.
1The Goral lives among precipitous cliffs in the mountains. (Bergman 1938)
1The house is done but the whole household are kept busy for some time, pasting papers over the "shoji" (doors of rooms), and many other little jobs are waiting to be finished before the family may comfortably enjoy the new house. Samma bild finns i The Building in Japan (Takagi, Kobe, 1913, Taisho 2) med denna text.
1The koreans often go fishing along the river banks.
1The mausoleum of Sultan Bajasid, Bostan (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1<0x0a><0x0a>The Native Americans were the first to smoke tobacco At least 2,200 years ago the Indians cultivatedtobacco. The tobacco plant was so importantthat it was the only crop among certain Indian people. Two-part tobacco pipes (stem and bowl) are used in religious ceremonies and to seal important decisions, for example, when a peace treaty is signed. For that reason the whites coined the term "peace pipe". The pipe is a sacred object with wooden stem and a bowl of stone, often catlinite (named after the artist George Catlin), a soft reddish brown mineral which only exists in Minnesota. Indians are often portrayed with a pipe tomahawk, that is, a pipe with wooden stem and anend of iron comprised both of a pipe bowl and an axe. The whites mass-produced these for the Indians in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many Indians believe that museums should not exhibit tobacco pipes, especially not with stem and bowl together, since the pipe is "charged" with power and therefore should only be used in rituals. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1The new year in Japan (tamamura, Kobe 1906) : Men , with biolers and tubs, pound the rice into gough, and nearly every family engage these dough pounders, to save time and trouble. The pounding begins the 25th of December, and continues until the end of the year.
1The oasis Tjardeh (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The railway created an early tourist boom The Navajo profited from the fact that the railroad brought tourists and collectors of ethnographic material to the Southwest. Already at the end of the 19th century the renown of the Navajo’s skill at weaving and making turquoise ornaments was firmly established among art lovers and galleries. The art of weaving According to the myth, Spider Woman taught the Navajo how to weave. Their weaving material was primarily cotton, but after the Spaniards began to bring sheep into the Southwest, wool has become the most common weaving material in the last two centuries. Woven fabrics, left to right: Gray and white wool. Red and black vegetal pigments. The tufts in the corners are said to have a symbolic content for the weaver. White, black and dark gray wool. Centipede motif. Gray and white wool. Red and black vegetal pigments. The sharp zigzag pattern is typical for a distinct type of Navajo fabrics. Sand paintings To maintain and reinstate health and harmony the Navajo have long and complicated ceremonies, in which various pulverized pigments are used to create sand paintings. When the ceremony is over and health and harmony has been reassured, the sand painting is destroyed. Silver and turquoise work Turquoise has had a deep symbolic meaning for the Navajo for a very long time. On the other hand they have only worked with silver for about 150 years. They acquired it from American and Mexican coins and from horse saddles. Most often the men work with silver and the women weave. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1The return of the Uli When you look at the wooden figure in the showcase, a so-called Uli from New Ireland, an island in the Bismarck Archipelago north of Papua New Guinea, you could easily get the feeling that the people who created this creature must have had extraterrestrial contacts. That is probably not the case. The figurine was part of a funeral ceremony by the same name, Uli. In the good old days this tradition, extinct since the early 20th century, was a ceremony practiced when an important leader had passed away. The figure symbolized the soul of the deceased. An Uli is an androgyne with breasts as well as penis, and a big head that symbolizes the soul, thought to be housed in the head. Every month for a period of one year or more, the village of the deceased would arrange a series of feasts to commemorate the dead person. Many pigs were slaughtered and the Uli participated. At the grand finale the neighboring villages came to the feast, all bringing their own Ulis, freshly painted for this great day. After that, the Uli was moved to a special house, owned by the “Big man” (leader) of the village. There it was put “on display” for certain selected persons to see, and to promote future spiritual support to the village and its new leader. This is not the first time that the Uli, numbered 1915.2.764, sees the day of light and is put “on display” since its long journey from New Ireland at the beginning of the last century. It was exposed in 1989, in the great exhibition about Melanesia in the Museum of Ethnography in 1989 (text from the website, object of the month, June 2007).
1The sails of the korean fishing-junks are hoisted on bamboo poles. (bergman 1938:223)
1<0x0a><0x0a>The Samurai - His armour and swords The Samurai was expected to be constantly prepared for battle, and accordingly he was equipped for warfare. On the battlefield he wore body armour (ôyoroi) consisting of many parts, from the helmet and the mask via the parts protecting the body to the footwear. Its form and its materials developed over the centuries, not only to provide better protection and mobility but also to impress and fright. The armour was the joint result of many master craftsmen. Foremost among those who armed the Samurai was undeniably the smith. He forged blades (toshin) of unsurpassed quality and beauty. Then other craftsmen with their contributions turned the sword into a veritable work of art, with a decorated sword guard (tsuba), hilt (tsuka), sheath (saya), and braided cord (sageo). Together they supplied the samurai the weapons he regarded as “his soul”: his long sword (katana) and his short sword (wakazashi).
1The serai Aga Baba, on the way to Kasvin (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The silk in Japan: With trained eye and delicate touch, raw silk of remarkably smooth and even quality is produced. And then beautiful sheaves of raw silk will be ready for the market.
1The state sword, ceremonially borne before the Oba as a symbol of his power over life and death of his subjects. At the ceremonial appearances of the Oba this sword should in accordance withtradition be borne by a naked youth. 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1The tent of Belutji nomads (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The uppermost house in Najbänd, with a grand view towards the desert (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1The village Najbänd (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1This imposing Buddha-figure "The white Buddha" is outlined on a block of stone close to a river i short distance outside Keijo" (Bergman 1938)
1This mask is 100 years old. It took months to make it. The dancers only used it for ten minutes, at weddings for example. Closest to the dancers were the men, while the women had to watch from a distance. The women were forbidden to see the mask being made. But both men and women sang to the dance.
1This type of belt is full of powers. It is said to both take and save lives. The belt is called leketyo, which means peace. Only women wore these belts. If a group of people were fighting and nothing could make them stop, a woman could toss her belt between them. The fight must stop immediately.
3Three fragments from relief plaques of bronze. From the devastated Benin City. 2000.13.15–17 (exhibition, "Whose objects", Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, 2010)
1Two old towers in Tebbes (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
2Two rattles One with hooves. Southwest, Apache. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Two warrior chiefs wearing basketry caps, coral-bead collars, ceremonial swords and an attire with attributes indicating high rank. Late 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Two wooden masks (top, in the middle) False face masks. Used by shamans and medicine men in secret ceremonies in which a person with poor health is healed from his sickness. Eastern woodland area, Iroquois, Seneca. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Ur Japanese things: fish outlooks' thet dot the coast of Izu. each of these stands on some lofty cliff overlooking the sea, where an experienced man keeps watch, and blows the horn to the fishermen below to draw in the large villagen et, whenever a school of albacore has entered it. Citerat av Wagner, Ulla bilddokumentation
1View of Eastern Teheran (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1War club From the penis bone of a walrus. Possibly Nez Percé. (Exhibition, Indians of North America 2008).
1Warrior chief wearin a coral-bead collar, a bell hanging over his chest, and a cereemonial sword in his right hand. Late 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Warrior chief wearing the coral-bead collar, leopard-tooth necklace, quadrangular bell, sword, and shield assosiated with warriors. Late 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1Warrior wearing the leopard-tooth necklace indicating his identity as a man of war. Early 17th century. (Staden-Benin)
1<0x0a><0x0a>What can museums exhibit? Ethnographic collections can be regarded as a part of the collective world heritage. The mission of museums is to collect, conserve and make accessible artefacts. Many North American Indians regard masks, drums, rattles, whistles and tobacco pipes as sacred objects which should not be put on display to public view. Behind the drapery are found such powerful objects. As a museum visitor you can choose to view them or choose not to. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1When Hjalmar Stolpe arrived in Benares (Varanasi) in 1885, he, at the same time, reached the pre-eminent place of pilgrimage in Hinduism. In south eastern Uttar Pradesh, on the western bank of Ganges, where the river briefly turns north, has, with certainty, been a city for three thousand years. It was founded at the best ferrying point along this stretch. A physical ferrying point is a tirtha in Hindi. This concept, at the same time, incorporates the meaning of a place where a ¿spiritual crossing¿ can occur, a place of pilgrimage. For as long as we have known, people have come to Benares to be able to meet the gods, primarily Shiva, but also to die, be cremated and be released from reincarnation. The city is filled with temples and holy places where gods have manifested themselves, and where you can obtain an ¿audience¿, darshana, with them. You meet their gaze and bring your offerings. In circles, the routes of pilgrimage in the city encompass everything, successively, from the holiest sanctum in the innermost temple to the whole region, which is called Kashi by the pilgrims. The central temple is dedicated to Shiva as "Ruler of the Universe", Vishanatha. As in Stolpe's time it is jammed in, in the dense bazaar settlement, neighbour to the Jnana Vapi mosque. As well as for Hindus, Benares is a holy city to Muslims, Sikhs, Jainists and Buddhists. In the alleys closest to the temple- and mosque areas are those small shops thick on the ground serving the pilgrims. Here you can find incense, rosaries, offerings for the temples, religious texts, colouring matter, and you can buy statuettes that depict the Hindu pantheon. Hjalmar Stolpe must have walked these narrow lanes when making his acquisitions. Just opposite the western entrance to the temple lie shops and workshops where statues of marble or in black and green kinds of stone are hewn, chiselled, polished, often painted and offered to customers. The majority of the artisans as well as the raw material come from Rajasthan. Jaipur Murtiwala ("The statue makers of Jaipur") are probably biggest in the business today and might have been the case also at the time of Stolpe's visit. He bought a number of statues mostly in white painted marble. Among them was the pair of Krishna and Radha. Krishna is the eighth of the ten avatars, incarnations, of Vishnu. He is loved and worshipped, not least in the form of Hindu religious practice that is called bhakti, where you seek union with the deity through devotion. In the scriptures you can follow Krishna's pranks as a chubby little boy with his hand in the butter jar, and in Bhagavad Gita, a central part of the Mahabharata Epos, you can study his existential expositions. You can follow his amorous escapades with the young girls, gopis, who tended the cows in the Brindavan forest. Radha was the gopi who loved and venerated him most, and to whom he preferred to play his flute, and whom he courted most ardently. (Med världen i Kappsäcken)
1When the time has come for the sacrifice to be offered everybody contributes as much as they can, since this is a special day of feast for this church. Some bring money, but most bring ample amounts of what the earth yields: millet, bananas, cassava, sour milk, tobacco, peanuts, mango. The floor in front of the altar is filled up. Outside the church some sheep and goats are tied and they, too, are blessed by the priests as gifts. A small group of young pokot women walk up to the altar. In their hands they carry little beaded leather patches that are gleaming in the sunshine. They put their sacrifices on the floor in front of the priests. Pokot women wear leather skirts that are held up by a leather belt, often decorated with kauri shells. In the front the young girls wear these rectangular patches, decorated with colored beads and sometimes with thin plates of ostrich eggshell or buttons or little metal beads. The leather patches are often rubbed with red ochre in order to make them shine more. I was surprised that the young women presented the church with these intimate garments and that the receivers of the gifts are men who live in celibacy. Afterwards, outside the church, I try to bring up the issue, but without success. Those I talk to don’t appear to think this is something remarkable. “They just wanted to give the most beautiful things they got to their church.” Besides, many of them rather wear in cotton dresses than leather skirts. To them, their young girls’ ornaments were already on their way out and were becoming souvenirs of something just passed. The following day I asked the vicar what he was going to do with the young women’s gifts. It turned out he had passed them over to the sisters, the nuns living near the church. When I asked them the same question they thought for a while, then said the lap patches (In older ethnographic literature these garments are called aprons. My own associations from that word don’t agree with these elegantly sewn and decorated leather pieces. Apron more sounds like cleaning day and the baking of bread rolls, when instead this is about being dressed up to look as good as possible. What should they be called? Girdles is not an adequate word and pubic patches sounds too clinical. My suggestion for the translation of atiro (atelo) is lap patch.) might be put up on the wall in a corridor in their house, as decorations. The sisters praised the quality of the handiwork; the smoothness of the leather, the way the different pieces had been joined to contribute to the pattern, and they commented on the price of the beads. And when I asked if they would let the museums in Kabarnert, Nairobi and Stockholm have some of the lap patches they were clearly positive. Such handicraft would really be something to show in a museum. The fact that these lap patches are beautiful is of course a good reason for them to end up in a museum. But what is their story? There is no regularity in their patterns or color combinations that could be analyzed. A woman who makes a lap patch will use what she can get and produces something she thinks looks good. When I asked for the meaning of the rows of beads, straps of leather, colors and placement I was given the answer that they did what they thought looked good. So, I don’t know more than that about pokot aesthetics or symbolism. For obvious reasons, the lap patches make the girls more attractive. In a museum, the patches can be used to illustrate the process of maturing, how girls grow up to be ready to marry and start their new lives. Besides, it just so happened that these lap patches taught a Swedish museum curator something about her own values and preconceptions about Catholic priests and nuns.
1Whistle Thin bone wrapped with tendons and fibers. California, Hupa. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Windmills in Neh (exhibition 2008 Persian journeys of Sven Hedin)
1Within the Italian colonial photographic production Luigi Naretti's work appears exemplary for its quality and for the importance and the wide circulation it shortly gains. From this point of view Naretti's camera besides being a witness becomes a means of support of the gradual consolidation of the Italian presence in Eritrea, able to convey to the late nineteenth century public, eager of images and lacking in knowledge about that part of the African continent, a specific perception of the colony and the sense of a new order in which the gaze becomes the organizing means. The essay aims to examine the specific perception of the African society and culture, as well as that of the colonial reality, that Naretti's photography records and transmits. Through the identification of what is shown and what is omitted, and the analysis of peculiar photographic conventions and idioms, the essay explores the role of Naretti's photography, its contribution to the formation of the newborn Italian state's identity, but also its functionality level in favour of the colonial domination and of the creation of some peculiar Italian myths still alive in the contemporary collective imagery of the colonial experience. (abstract in Quaderni storici, april 2002, http://www.mulino.it/rivisteweb/scheda_articolo.php?id_articolo=7428)
1Wooden box used to contain kola nuts, and coconut-shell container. These objects were carved by the so called Omada, swordbearers and domestic servants of the Oba, who used their spare time to learn the art of carving and to develop their artistic talents. Late 19th cenury. (Staden-Benin)
1Wooden whistle (bottom to the left) Northwest coast, Bella Bella. (Exhbition, The First Nations of North America, 2008).
1Young Korean with goshawk pheasant-hunting. (Bergman 1938)