About Project

Ainu

The online catalogue presents Peter the Great Museum’s of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS collections on the culture of one of the indigenous peoples of the Far East and Japan – the Ainu. The Museum houses about 2.000 items of Ainu origin, some of them are on display at the exposition.

Ainu collections are among the earliest collections of the Museum. About 14 items keep 18th-century Kunstkamera’s labels. The collections are unique both in terms of vast geographic range, including Hokkaido, Sakhalin and Kuril Islands.

History of Ainu collections gathering is linked with the names of outstanding Russian travelers and researchers: I.G. Voznesenskiy, B.O. Pilsudskiy, L.Ya. Shternberg and others. They managed to collect unique materials on different aspects of Ainu culture: means of transportation, cloths, hunting tools and ware, cult objects.

The Ainu collections have been researched for many years with experts from Japan. As a result catalogues were published and exhibitions were organized:

Catalogues:

1. Ainu collections of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Russian Academy of Sciences: Catalogue. Tokio, 1998. P. 204 . (in Japanese, Russian and English languages).

2. Ainu culture: view from Russia. From the collections of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Russian Academy of Sciences. Sapporo 2013. 131 P. (In Japanese and Russian langages).

Exhibitions:

1. Culture: view from Russia. From the collections of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Russian Academy of Sciences. Otaru Museum (Otaru, Japan). 11 October, 2013 - 25 November, 2013. Kyushu National Museum (Japan). 10 December, 2013 - 16 February 2014.

This project was fulfilled in cooperation with the Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture.

Publications

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS

Y.A. Kupina, Cand.Sc. (History) - project manager

N.V. Maykova - author

A.M. Sokolov, Cand.Sc. (History) - author

V.A. Kisel, Cand. Sc. (History) - collection curator

S.B. Shapiro - photographer

E.B. Tolmacheva, Cand.Sc. (History) - photoworks