VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Headdress of a “big” Evenk shaman
1879-21/1
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Such headdresses demonstrate the development of ritual headdresses of the peoples of Eurasia from a detailed depiction of the Universe to its conditional. symbolic model where trees are embodied in stripes of metal and the image of a deer is replaced with deer horns. It is therefore of great cultural and historical value.

History of the Object
This headdress of a “big” Evenk shaman (avun) made of steel was part of a full ritual costume worn by a shaman for very important rites and rituals. The structure of this headdress reflects its symbolic meaning and contains an archaic image of the model of the Universe. The hoop embodies the concept of the closed space of the world of people and solid earth. Two crossing arcs symbolize the parts of the world and the seasons. The cosmic vertical that reflects the sacral center of the Universe is embodied in the horns of the mythical deer that stands for the sun in the mythical beliefs of the peoples of northern Asia. The deer was one of the main characters in the myth about the celestial hunt and embodied the archaic concepts of the day and night and the cosmic order. The horns also symbolized the sacred deer – the helper spirit of the shaman, his draft animal that he rode to travel to other worlds. Long cloth ribbons embody snakes and lizards, the shaman’s powerful helpers that accompany him in his “travels” to the lower world. They also symbolize the sacred birch – the totem tree of the shaman. It is also associated with the World Tree that symbolizes the Universe as a whole and Axis mundi – the cosmic axis connecting the spheres of the Universe. Such ritual headdresses were conditionally referred to as “crowns”.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
steel, textile, sueded leather 
Measurements
Height 36 cm Length 160 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Trans-Baikal region 
Geography
Russia 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century 
Function
Part of a shaman's costume 
Acquisition
This unique exhibit was received by the Museum in 1911 from A. Epov, a student of St. Petersburg University sent on an expedition to Transbaikalia. He acquired this headdress from shaman Tarchin Isheev. 
Copyright
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Russian Federation 
Museum
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences 
Credit line
 

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  • Cooler104 weeks ago

    You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful arscilet.

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