VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Mittens
SU4810-245
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The Mansi man's mittens represent the mosaic technique, typical for the Mansi (Vogul) and Khanty (Ostyak) in Western Siberia. This technique based on changes between light and dark colours, can be considered a variation of the appliqué work. In the women's fur coats and caps the geometrical patterns referred to family emblems. Women also decorated their sewing bags, pin cushions and other personal items in the same manner. Khanty and Mansi women made sacrificial covers with the pattern of the son of the God in heaven. The cap and the mittens of the shaman were decorated with the pattern of bear.

History of the Object
Artturi Kannisto (1874–1943), professor of the Finno-Ugric languages in the Helsinki University, spent the years 1901 to 1906 with the Mansi, travelling back and forth across their homeland. Following the instructions of U. T. Sirelius (1872–1929), professor of ethnography, Kannisto acquired a collection of 700 objects. Decorated costumes are in the majority. It is the second largest group of items associated with beliefs, including the ritual artefacts of bear-hunting ceremony.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Woollen cloth 
Measurements
Width 14 cm Length 20 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Russia; Siberia, Sosva river, the village of Nyeldina 
Geography
Russia; Siberia 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
Before 1905 
Function
During the bear-hunt celebration ceremony the Mansi (Vogul) man performed sacred songs about the bear's birth and life on earth. The costumes of singers indicated their roles. The mittens with the decoration of bear belonged to a person of high standing. 
Acquisition
Acquired in 1907 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Ildikó Lehtinen Photos: Ildikó Lehtinen, 2001 Markku Haverinen, 2001 Aaalto, Pentti. Oriental Studies in Finland 1828–1918. Societas Scientiarum Fennica 10b. Helsinki 1971. Kannisto, Artturi. Les fêtes de l'ours chez les Vogouls. Journal de la Société Finno-Ougrienne L. Helsinki 1938–1939. Kannisto, Artturi. Materialen zur Mythologie der Wogulen. Bearbeitet und herausgegeben von E. A. Virtanen und Matti Liimola. Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 113. Helsinki 1958. Lehtinen, Ildikó. Artturi Kannisto in Siberia 1901–1906. Shamans. Tampere Museum's Publications 45. Tampere 1998. Lehtinen, Ildikó. Costumes of the Siberian peoples - practicality and luxury. Siberia. Life on the Taiga and Tundra. Ed. by Ildikó Lehtinen. National Board of Antiquities 2002. Vahter, Tyyni. Obinugrilaisten kansojen koristekuosit. Ornamentik der Ob-Ugrier. Travaux de la Société Finno-Ougrienne IX. Helsinki 1953. 
Owner
State property, National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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