"The Arctic - inhabited land" - an exhibition in the Russian Ethnography Museum

25.01.2017

"The Arctic - inhabited land" - an exhibition in the Russian Ethnography Museum

For  most  of us the Arctic is an enigmatic “ice corner” of our planet with numerous shining white icebergs and ice covered seas, endless polar days and nights; it is the land of unlimited domain of  the cold and the source of constant challenges to man, the  place of self-sacrifices and achievements. It’s here, on the territory of extreme natural, cultural and value contrasts, where the hidden potential of culture, its flexibility and endurance emerge - allowing man not only survive in an environment, which is hardly suitable for life, but also make the Arctic a part of his cultural space.

The exhibition in Russian Ethnography Museum invites visitor to travel across the spaces of the Russian Arctic and get a glimpse in the history and culture of its inhabitants. It covers such ethnographic topics as economic and hunting activities, trade, houses, clothes, rites and beliefs, navigation and missionary work. The exhibition aims to show how and by what means people made this territory of extreme environmental conditions their home.

The name “Arctic” (ἄρκτος – she-bear) is not directly related to its largest inhabitant – white bear, but is derived from the Ancient Greek names of constellations of the Ursa Major and  the Ursa Minor with unmovable Polaris and territory situated under it in the Northern hemisphere. 

Not being a mainland, the Arctic embraces a vast territory (27 millions sq.km) of the northern periphery of Eurasia and North America, neighboring the North Pole and the entire area of the Arctic Ocean with its islands. The Arctic territory with its richest mineral deposits and resources has always been an attractive place for traders, merchants, travelers and explorers.

Archeological findings representing the circumpolar cultures alongside photographs and drawings from the museum collection will tell visitors about the unique features of different ethnic traditions. All together these traditions shape the image of the so called common “Arctic house”. 

Dates of the exhibition: December 6, 2016 - February 25, 2017
Admission: free with the normal museum entrance ticket (free with St. Petersburg Card)