Complete Shaman costumes of this age are very seldom found. The assumption that the world is separated into various levels populated by spirits and mixed beings form the basis for the work of shamans as mediators between the various levels. Their most important task was the spiritual journey into the lower and upper worlds. While exercising their functions, shamans usually wore a special kind of dress. In the case shown here, it consists of boots, leggings, a coat, and a metal headdress covered with a feathered fringe cape. Every piece of clothing is trimmed with figures made of sheet iron, each of those symbolizing spirits. Belts with metal bells also belonged to the equipment, in order to create loud rhythmic sounds with every movement, particularly during dances. The most substantial tool of a shaman, at the same time his spiritual “mount” during otherworldly journeys in trance, is the drum beaten with a drumstick. The origin and the date when the collector Klemm bought the costume are not known. Therefore it is determined by early 19th century as the latest possible date of manufacture. Experts specified the costume as Evenk from Stony Tunguska River. It is the highlight of the Siberian Collection and therefore shown in every permanent exhibition of the museum.
This handsome piece incorporates an interesting combination of materials with lively patterning and embroidery. The puffed sleeves mimic the leg-o-mutton style prevalent in the 1890s. Regional costumes often evolved over time, incorporating fashionable trends with traditional forms.
Some new rules from CLRG, the Irish Dance Commission
• That all personal initials and any other name form which leads to personal identification be banned from solo costumes. Failure to comply may result in a dancer being denied the opportunity to compete at any event. Effective 1st January 2015. • New rule 4.2.7. For heavy rounds in competitions, dancers may not wear soft shoes that have been altered with the addition of heels and tips in an attempt to turn them into hard shoes. Dancers found to be wearing such altered shoes for heavy rounds may be denied access to that round of the competition. Effective 1st January 2015. • CLRG adopts the costume Infraction (Tick Box) program. The Costume committee is mandated to implement this program in all CLRG regions around the world. • Costumes should have traditional themes and cartoon characters should not be permitted. Effective 1st January 2015.
The “tick box” on adjudicators’ score sheets is where they can check to indicate that they think a dress is too short etc.
Medium: leather, silk, metal
The extravagant fringe on these gauntlet gloves features purple silk, gold cord and gold tassels. The gloves were collected by Stewart Culin (1858-1929) during a collection expedition in 1920. Culin was the Brooklyn Museum’s first Curator of Ethnology, serving from 1903 to 1929. Possessing an insatiable curiosity and appetite for collecting objects of all kinds, Culin conducted over twenty worldwide collecting expeditions between 1901 and 1928. The trips covered American Indian territories, New England, Asia, India, Great Britain, and all of Eastern and Western Europe. The seven expeditions between 1917 and 1928 were specifically focused on collecting regional textiles and costumes from Eastern and Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, New England. Culin’s goals for these trips were not just to expand the Museum’s holdings, but also to preserve their cultural contexts. He did so through amassing photographs, notebooks, and ephemera which documented the social, commercial, and cultural circumstances surrounding their acquisition. His collecting philosophy embraced both rare and high-quality pieces as well as those which represented daily life or were of particular social or historical interest.