On February 26, 2021 the Estonian National Museum launches new extremely enlightening exhibition “People are made of people. Finno-Ugrians and Samoyeds in old ethnographic photographs“ consisting of rare photographs capturing the daily life of Finno-Ugrians and Samoyeds in late XIX-early XX cc. Most of them (150 items) derive from the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The exhibition is supplemented with photographs from collections of the National Museum of Finland, the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest and the National Museum of Finland. The exhibition will be opened for visitors until October 17, 2021.
A modern man not an expert in ethnography and linguistics sometimes can hardly recognize that peoples which are so different in their physical appearance, material culture, customs and religious beliefs like Hungarians and Khanty, Estonians and Mansi, Finns and Nenets have common routes originating in the depth of century. Only if we cast a watchful look at their traditional culture, we can intuitively feel and comprehend enormous and ancient unity of Finno-Ugrians and Samoyeds as well as astonishing uniqueness of traditional culture of each people still resisting remorseless processes of acculturation and globalization.
Therefore the series of photographs selected for the exhibition are conceived as excursions in history of particular Finno-Ugrian and Samoyedic people in the united historical-geographical space of Eurasia. These historical-ethnographic excursions start with the series of photographs capturing the traditional culture of Estonians and gradually removing from them in linguistic, cultural and geographical respects passes to the photographs reflecting daily life and cultural peculiarities of Nganasans and Hungurians. Then this circle closes and the visitor sees again the pictures of Estonian cultural heritage and daily realities.
The exhibition catalogue is published in Estonian, Russian and English.