Carlotta - the museum database

OBJTXTUtställningstext, Korsvägar, eng

1According to eyewitnesses, this particular boat brought 25 illegal migrants to the Almeria coast in southern Spain in 2004. Generally the police burn abandoned boats, but this boat was evidence in a human trafficking case. The boat came to the museum in connection with an exhibition about trafficking.
1According to recognised methods of defining and measuring democracy, Sweden has been categorised as a free state and a full democracy since 1921. Artist Anders Sunna shows his audience a part of history that is often passed over. His paintings remind us of Sweden’s colonial history – a history that needs to be told. The rights of the Sami to land and water is a hot and controversial question. Who owns the land of Sápmi? The Swedish state considers the northern lands to be state territory, but in the Samis’ eyes, the lands have been unfairly confiscated. There are many people interested in the natural resources in the area. Expanded hydro power, forestry and mining – all of these forces are stressing Sami society, and especially the families that live on reindeer herding and other traditional economic pursuits. Many feel that the foundations of their lives are crumbling beneath them. Sweden still hasn’t signed ILO 169, a legally binding convention protecting the rights of the Sami and other indigenous peoples. Sunna’s painting New Methods, Same Abuses brings up a variety of issues: the rights of indigenous peoples, racist structures, the Samis’ history and struggle for civil rights, and the issue of who is entitled to use land and for what.
1According to some calculations, our planet will have a 40 percent water deficit by 2030 if we don’t manage water consumption better. The water reserves that are under greatest stress are in the driest areas. There, the groundwater table may be as much as 600 meters underground, making the water especially expensive to pump and purify. According the UN climate panel, Mexico is one of the countries where the risk is greatest that poverty will increase due to climate change and water shortages. Forecasts for Mexico point to extremely dry summers, less rain and shrinking harvests.
1A ceremonial farming implement that gives a glimpse of the complex farming system that existed a thousand years ago in one of the world's driest places. Birds and especially seabirds had in various ways a special connection to agriculture. They often were associated with fertility and some produced the highly desirable fertilizer called guano that was used in the fields. These birds were immensely important due to their valuable droppings. During the Inca Empire, severe penalties were issued to those who disturbed the birds during breeding. Later the birds ' droppings became the cause of war, conflicts and international politics until the beginning of the 20th century when artificial fertilizers began to be produced. This ceremonial shovel is from the Ica region that is part of a unique ecological zone where several civilizations created a fertile and productive agriculture. Spanish chroniclers depict the manual farming practices where all plowing, planting and harvesting was done by hand. Many of the traditional and ceremonial farm tools disappeared with the Spanish conquest and the introduction of plough and draught animals. This was not perceived a rationalization by many, rather it was interpreted as that the Spaniards were too lazy to work, that they rather forced large animals to do the work for them.
1A characteristic black ware vessel from the Lambayeque region in northern Peru, from the period 800-1350.
1A few of the ceremonial farm implements from the Ica region has feathers attached to the carved bird, as this object is an example of. Some also had silver and gold sheathings, which communicates high status and prosperity. Like several of the other farming implements a sea bird eating fish is portrayed, both animals of great significance for a productive agriculture and one of the most common motifs on farming implements from graves in the Ica area.
1A guksi purchased from Njels Andersson, a Sami, in 1893, Norrbotten County. The guksi is an ancient Nordic drinking vessel, perfect to bring along suspended from your belt.
1A larger amulet in leather, with cording and two cases. Inside are verses from the Quran. Amulets are commonly found throughout the Islamic world and are, perhaps, more common in countries with a strong Sufi tradition, which includes the African Muslim countries. We have many amulets of this kind, in our collection, from North Africa, the Horn of Africa and West Africa. Many of them, likely, contain verses from the Quran.
1Amulet and wooden sculpture of a woman. The sculpture’s arms are outstretched in a way that spurs associations to a Christian crucifix, but it is otherwise a typical ritual figure of the lower Congo. The carved symbols have cosmological significance. The diamond is a variant of the Kongo cross and has many different meanings depending on context, often alluding to a concentration of life force and to God (Nzambi Mpungu). When the diamond is on the forehead, it represents the person’s soul; when it is around the navel, it symbolises the world of the spirits. The sculpture also has a zigzag symbol on the breast, which alludes to the python, to long life and to serious matters.
1Amulet in the form of a necklace of glass beads with leopard’s claws and a wooden cross. Exactly what the object was used for or symbolised is not known. Like much of the ornaments of the region, it served the dual purpose of being beautiful and communicating with the world of the spirits. From the spirits in the land of the dead, the Kongo took strength, protection and power to cure illness and injury. The necklace mixes local and European religious symbols. The wooden cross is both a dikenga – the Kongo cross that describes the cosmos – and a crucifix from the Catholic tradition. Between the heavy glass beads hang two leopard’s claws. The leopard was the preeminent symbol of political power, evoking both physical and spiritual strength.
1Amulet or crucifix. We do not know what this was used for, but the shape of the object is clearly a mix of African and European traditions. From the late 15th century until the 17th century, many Catholic missionaries operated in the Kingdom of Kongo. Much of the court and the Kongo elite converted to Christianity. Crucifixes were common symbols of Christian devotion, and members of the elite class were often buried with them. Many of the crucifixes from this period found in museum collections are marked with symbols that reference Kongo cosmology. This is evidence that the Congolese did not entirely abandon their worldview in conjunction with their conversion to Christianity.
1An archeological figure in silver alloy from the Nasza civilization around 100 BCE-600 CE.
1A network of interconnected trade routes crisscrossed the Asian steppes. These linked together the three continents of Africa, Asia and Europe, and were known collectively as the Silk Roads. Starting in the 4th century BCE, Alexander the Great’s conquests stretched Greek influence as far away as Bactria in present-day Afghanistan, where the city of Balkh was an important centre of learning. In the 4th century CE, Buddhism was dominant in Central Asia. Influenced by Greek depictions of gods, they began producing Buddha statues. In the 6th century, Christianity grew strong and influential. Throughout the Middle Ages, there were many more Christians in Asia than in Europe. In the early 8th century, Central Asia was conquered by Muslims, and Islam has been the dominant religion there ever since.
1An inflatable swim vest that was probably used during a crossing of the Mediterranean to Europe. This vest is not intended for lifesaving but rather for swimming and play. If it breaks or leaks, the air will quickly escape and it will lose flotation. It was collected with the help of Doctors Without Borders.
1An over 1,000 year old hat whose four corners represent the four cardinal directions of the cosmos – north, south, west and east – with the person wearing it as the symbolic axis mundi, the centre of the world. Most evidence suggests that the hats were worn by men of high status, and based on iconography on pottery, the hats were worn high on the head. Stylised birds depicted in profile and other winged creatures are typical ornamentation. Birds of prey were probably a metaphor for a ruler’s social and religious power, and also for the ruler’s important role as a mediator and an intermediary. The motifs and colours of a hat are typically repetitive and symmetrical, and depending on how you look at it, diagonal, horizontal and vertical patterns are visible. This hat is done in a technique that results in a nap like an animal’s fur. The nap is produced by tying or wrapping the weft fibres around the warp threads so that they stick out above the underlying weave. The surface of the textile has been interpreted as looking either like the pelt of a mammal or the feathers of a bird, with other interpretations mentioning the alpacas and llamas that provide the wool the thread it is made from. The hat can be viewed as a material manifestation of several Andean ideas. The figures and patterns offer a glimpse of a worldview from one of the driest places on Earth, the Ica region of southern Peru. The desert climate is also what enabled this hat and other textiles to be preserved in such excellent condition.
1An over one-thousand-year-old clay vessel from the Moche civilisation, dating from ca 100–800 AD. Water and birds were the two recurring motifs of both their religious life and their art. Ducks, owls, hummingbirds, hawks and seabirds of various types are often portrayed on the pottery. This vessel is in the shape of a duck, a bird as inextricably linked to water as the population of a dry desert landscape, where water is indispensable. Some duck species, such as the large Muscovy duck, were domesticated and kept as farm animals during this period. These rather aggressive birds were a cultural inspiration in several ways. The ferocity of the males was a powerful metaphor for warriors, and certain weapons, such as tumi knives, borrowed their shape from the ducks’ distinctive beaks. This is what is known as a “stirrup spout vessel”. There are several theories about why this shape was common. One is that it is better at retaining liquid, minimising evaporation, an important consideration in such a dry climate. In addition, the pipe makes it easy to pour the water or other liquid, while the handle facilitates transport.
1Approximately 1.8 million people die each year because they had drunk contaminated water. To purify water often require electricity or fuel-polluted water, something that many places are scarce To stop global warming at two degrees, part of the solution will be new technology.“Solvatten” is a Swedish technology that uses solar power to purify and heat ten litres in a few hours. Such water treatments technology also helps reduce coal and wood consumption. A simple, practical solution for anyone living in a place where a clean water supply is not assured.
1Around the world, those who study Arabic for religious reasons, learn classic Arabic. Islam’s holy scripture, the Quran, is written in an Arabic that is different from that spoken, today. The Arabic language, as with all languages, has undergone many changes over the centuries. This is a writing tablet used in Quran school.
1A smaller amulet made of leather, with a case that may hold verses from the Quran. It can be strapped to the upper arm. Amulets are used for a variety of reasons, but generally their main purpose has been to influence the social and spiritual environment to benefit the user (protection, luck, good health). As with other examples of amulets from around the world, there are seldom clear and set rules on what and how to make, use and acquire amulets; instead, it involves a personal negotiation between the craftsperson and the user, within the framework of the local society’s spiritual and religious practices.
1A smaller amulet made of leather, with a case to hold Quranic verses. It can be strapped to the upper arm. The amulet is from Sudan, Africa’s third largest country. It is difficult to determine what the purpose and significance of the object was. At times, it has been difficult to determine if an archaeological find has been used in Christianity or in Islam. Those that were collected in the 1900s may have been mass produced for Europeans, without having any meaningful verses from the Quran.
1A so called pututo-trumpet from the large Strombus galeatus cochlea whose sound can be heard over long distances. During the Inca Empire it was used during war and to communicate a person's arrival at a location. Special runner conveyed information with the khipu and used the trumpet to report their approaching. Through this system of runners, a message could travel 24 miles per day. After the first cattle herds was introduced by the Spanish conquerors, their horn increasingly came to replace the shells, although they are nowadays occasionally used during traditional events. This strombus is from Chancay and is from about 1100-1470.
1A spherical calabash donated to the museum by a seafarer. The calabash holds 2¼ kannor. The kanna is an old Swedish volume measure, equivalent to 2.62 liters. Thus, this calabash can hold almost sex liters of water.
1A tied headcloth, an iket kepala. In 2009, Indonesian batik was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with the motivation that the patterns and color choices show Indonesia’s long history of influence and interculturalism, where traditions and symbolic expression is mirrored in the patterns. The patterns may include Arabic calligraphy, Japanese cherry blossoms, Indian and Persian peacocks, European floral bouquets and Chinese phoenix. The batik that has been borne and is worn at the Kraton Sultan’s Palace in Yogyakarta, includes all of these patterns incorporated into a Muslim world view.
1Autumn 2015. Abandoned lifejackets stack up in drifts on the beaches and refuse heaps of Kos and Lesbos. Shops in the Turkish city of Izmir have expanded their range with lifejackets. Many, however, are of much too poor quality to actually save lives. Better something bad than nothing at all, though. Especially since the journey is often made in overloaded pontoon boats. These three lifejackets were collected with the help of Doctors Without Borders on the north shore of Lesbos in early October 2015. Who used them is undocumented.
1A very special clay vessel intended for use only during ceremonial occasions. It´s origin is not known although the vessel is probably from the northern area during the Inca period circa 1450-1534.