Albums
“... You can rely on me”: Vladimir Arseniev’s collections in the Russian Museum of Ethnography
“... You can rely on me”: Vladimir Arseniev’s collections in the Russian Museum of Ethnography
Title
“... You can rely on me”: Vladimir Arseniev’s collections in the Russian Museum of Ethnography
Annotation
Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev (1872-– 1930) was an outstanding explorer of the Far East, geographer, traveler, and erudite local lore expert. In the history of science, Arseniev’s expeditions are comparable to expedition studies by Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay, Nikolai Przewalski, and Petr Kozlov. In his travels in Ussuri Land, Amur Region did topographic surveys, kept record of toponyms, collected data on geology and meteorology, history and economics, and built collections in zoology and botany, ethnography, and archeology. Arseniev’s gift of empathic communication with people, his involved, caring attitude towards small-numbered indigenous peoples, and vivid interest in age-old traditions of life and relationships with nature and environment helped the explorer both in most challenging expedition travels and in apprehension and analysis of economic, and human, assets of the Far East. A most important part of the study and popularization of the traditional culture of indigenous peoples of the Far East and Ussuri Land were the archeological and ethnographic collections donated by Arseniev to museums. Arseniev felt it was his duty to donate ethnographic collections, not to sell them: “I exclude selling things to museums. Museums are a national cause, a common cause, and therefore everybody must work disinterestedly.” “... You can rely on me,” wrote V.K. Arseniev in 1910 to the Ethnographic Department of the Russian Museum in response to a request for collections. The Russian Museum of Ethnography keeps the largest ethnographic collection of V. K. Arseniev. We present in this album a chronicle of Arseniev’s collecting activity as part of his collaboration with Russia’s largest ethnographic museum. It is annotated objects of spiritual and material culture of the Udege, Nanais, Orochi, and Koryaks; it is narratives of notable ethnographers, experts in Siberia, about Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev and the most valuable exhibits of his collection; and it is Arseniev’s autographs, his correspondents, and his descriptions of objects. The most important purpose of this resource is digital repatriation of collections to places of their origin, and instant and complete access to artifacts of traditional culture.
Date
15.10.2022
Persons Selected: 1