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The Collections on Finns and Sámi Culture

The collection on ethnography of Sámi has exclusive importance because it is the largest fund in our country uniting the artifacts of culture of the  Sámi of Russia, Norway and Finland.

The collection on ethnography of Sámi has exclusive importance because it is the largest fund in our country uniting the artifacts of culture of the Sámi of Russia (the Sámi of the Kola Peninsula), Norway and Finland.   Its main part was formed in the time when many traditional forms of the Sámi culture still persisted which reflected in museum materials.  The collection once owned by the Russian consul in Norway O.O.Vizel gathered among the Sámi of the Kola Peninsula in 1903 belongs to the number of the first exhibits. It has important significance for characterization of clothes, utensils and transport means.  As Vizel wrote himself the priest of the Saint Boris and Gleb Church the protoiereus Konstantin Shchekoldin provided him enormous aid in his work having handed to his collection large number of exhibits. The artist V.A. Plotnikov commissioned by the Ethnographic Department spent among the Sámi two field seasons in 1907 and 1909. He studied and gathered the articles of clothes and reindeer harness. He purchased and described in detail the traditional dwelling of the Sámi of the Kola Peninsula vezha. Plotnikov also made a series of ethnographic drawings reflecting culture and life of this northern people.  
In 1925 the Loparskaya expedition in which D. A. Zolotarev and V.V. Charnolusky actively participated started its work. During several fieldwork seasons they acquired several ethnographic collections which have monograph character.  V. V. Charnolusky who was specialized in the Sámi culture carried out their description. They represent the objects characterizing Sámi economy (fishing, hunting, reindeer breeding, crafts), clothes and utensils; the artifacts related to traditional medicine and cult rarities; there are also archaic dolls with which children and girls played.  In whole the RME collection on the Sámi ethnography quite comprehensively reflect the complex character of their economy, includes the main working tools and instruments for their making.   
As for the typical for the Sámi transport means,  the collection has pack- saddle and the famous boat-sledges kerezhi.  There are both driving kerezhi  for adults and children and load kerezhi and variants of reindeer harness for wedding train of bridegroom and bride. The collection of utensils for cooking and serving food is sufficiently complete and diverse: cups, plates, spoons. The birch bark travel tablecloths are true rarities.   The collection present daily utensils made of birch bark  (boxes, containers, baskets) used for cooking and keeping food and small birch bark boxes for keeping small objects. It's curious that noise-making amulets were often put in their lids.  In the RME funds various fur and suede bags used in nomadic daily life of the Sámi for keeping and transportation of foodstuffs, clothes, utensils are also well represented.  
The samples of clothes of various age and local groups of population occupy particular place in the collection. It includes both underwear and outdoor clothes of wool and fur. The pechok (male winter garment) and male and female headdresses of various types are unique.   
In respect of cult objects the funds contain amulets —bear and wolf teeth which were worn on the belts and pike jaws which were hanged over the doors. According to the Sámi beliefs they served for protection of children against “scare” and adults against illnesses.  The collection contains also the objects of Orthodox cult icon cases, icons, winged altarpieces and the wood sculpture of Nilus Stolbensky the popular in the Russian North saint including the Orthodox Sámi of the Kola Peninsula.  с 
The collection of artifacts on the ethnography of the Sámi of the Kola Peninsula gives complete idea about their traditional culture and is invaluable source for comparative studies of various groups of this people living in different countries.  


Sergel Sergei Ivanovich? - after  1934 
Correspondent of the Ethnographic Department. He finished the Natural Science Department of Saint Petersburg University. In 1903 moved in his own words by “curiosity and passion for travels” he undertook long trip to the Northern Russia in the Basin of Pechora River. In 1906 he became correspondent of the Ethnographic Department, his first ethnographic  expedition was the four-month trip to the Komi Zyryans in the Governorate of Vologda during which he gathered 7 collections of 490 items. In 1907-1909 commissioned by the Ethnographic Department  S.I. Sergel carried out one- and-half-years expedition to the Sámi of Norway and Finland. The result of this expedition was collection of 317 objects acquired from the Sámi of Norway, 67 items from the Sámi of Finland and 93 photographs taken in condition of one-year roaming with a family of reindeer breeders.  All the gathered collection were carefully registered by collector. Author of the books “One Year of Roaming with Lapps” (M.; P., 1927) and “In the Zyranski Krai (1928). He was repressed in the middle 1930s.  


Charnolusky Vladimir Vladimirovich  1894-1969 
Ethnographer, folklorist, artist, traveler. In 1925 he finished the Ethnographic Department of the First Ethnographic Institute. In 1922 he worked in the  Kaanin Peninsula, where he studied reindeer breeding among the Nenets.  Participant of the Loparskaya Expedition (1927), he worked under  the supervision of D. A. Zolotarev, he was specialized in studies of reindeer breeding and daily life of Sámi. In 1927—1928 acquired for the Ethnographic Department and carefully registered collection on the culture of the Sámi of the Kola Peninsula (128 objects). In 1935 he handed over to the museum photographic archive phonographic records on the culture of Karelians and Sámi. He was repressed in 1938. He published “Materials on daily life of Karelians and Sámi” and posthumously the collection of the Sámi folklore “In the land of flying stone. Memories of ethnographer” was published (M.1972) 
 

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