Sunday, March 24, 2019

Salmon Skin Tunic

From Siberia. Now in the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

"From Siberia"

Cripes, they might as well just label it, "From Asia", or "From Earth".

There's way too much of this nonsense in our Eurocentric mindset. If we were looking at a Viking era artifact, we'd not only have a specific originating culture named, we'd also know what modern country it was found it, and the item itself would be named after the exact farm it was dug up on, even if that farm no longer exists.

But here we just get "From Siberia", a staggeringly huge and diverse region covering over 5 million square miles, encompassing dozens of different cultures.

How the hell is that remotely acceptable? What sort of feckless amateurs are running the Minneapolis Institute of Art, that they're not embarassed to list an item thus?

Surely they could, at minimum, narrow it down to a subregion? Given both the general style of garment, and the fact that is made of salmon, surely even an utter novice could piece together that it must be from somewhere near the Pacific? Salmon aren't present in Arctic waters, rivers can't cross the Ural Mountains to reach the Atlantic, and you certainly aren't going to find salmon in the southern Steppes.

Personally, based off only the barest of information available to me, I would guess this is a Kamchatkan garment, although clearly I can't make any definitive claims. But even with just a brief glimpse into the matter and a tiny amount of critical thinking, I'm confident I'm within the ballpark. If some random amateur on the internet can do that well off nothing but a couple small images, why can't well paid professionals do as well or better?