Brought from 1830s China by Osip Kovalevsky. The shoe shows the reality of female foot binding practices among Chinese aristocracy. Deformed feet looked like lotus flowers and were considered especially beautiful.
Maori Chieftain Mannequin (New Zealand)
Bought in Hamburg, Germany. The ta moko face tattoo is especially peculiar. Maori tattoos encode lots of information, including age, social status, and merits.
A spirit considered to be in charge of health and safety. Ayami were thought to be shamans’ teachers. Ayami knew all the ways of the Universe and could help a shaman search for evil spirits of illnesses.
Yama, the Lord of Hell, spins the wheel. The central circle contains three human vices – ignorance, attachment, and sin. The next circle with six sectors symbolizes existing worlds. The next circle with twelve sectors tells about reasons that yield Karmic consequences. Buddha is in the upper left corner.
Shymaksh, Mari women's headwear
Brought by I. Smirnov in the 1880s. After her marriage a woman changed her hairstyle into a tight bun over her pate and wore shymaksh. That was a status symbol of a married woman.
Brought by I. Simonov from his circumnavigation in 1821. The club is oar-shaped and covered in ritual ornament. It was a chieftain’s power symbol.
Peoples of Volga Area used wood for their houseware. Scoops were used in rituals. For example, Chuvashs drank beer during their pagan worship sessions.
Music has always been an extremely important part of culture for many African peoples, a source of teaching and inspiration. Balafon is used during many ritual dances.
Brought by N. Katanov in 1910 from his expedition to study Khakases, an Altaic ethnic group. Tambourine was thought to contain a spirit that travelled through different worlds. The outside surface contains a drawing of Universe and its three layers – upper, middle, and lower.