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The St. Petersburg Kunstkamera lined with Ethiopian collection Gumilev


Museum of anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg Kunstkamera, made public the album “the Ethiopian collection of Nikolai Gumilev”. Posted in the catalog presents a unique collection of documents that brought an outstanding Russian poet Nikolay Gumilyov from his trips to Ethiopia, at that time called Abyssinia.

On the website of the Kunstkammer write that in 1913 on the instructions of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and Museum of anthropology and Ethnography of Gumilyov was sent on a mission to Abyssinia for the collection and purchase ethnographic collections, collection of photographic material and records of folklore. Prior to this expedition it is 2 times visited this country, it is not surprising that the Director of the Museum of anthropology and Ethnography academician V. V. Radlov and chief curator Professor L. Y. Sternberg has chosen the poet for the conduct of the expedition to Supplement the ethnographic collections of the Museum.

After receiving all the necessary instructions from the specialists of the Museum, Gumilev, along with his nephew N.L. Cricket in early April, 1913, went up to the ship in Odessa and sailed to the port of Djibouti, located on the coast of the Gulf of Aden. From there by rail they traveled to the city of dire Dawa in the East of Abyssinia and started their journey South-East of the country. Six months later – in late September, 1913, Gumilyov and Cricket were given to the Museum of anthropology and Ethnography collection and the documents which are now kept in the MAE RAS, clarifying a lot in the organization of the expedition, a timeline for its conduct and deep interest N.With. Gumilev to the Ethnography of Africa.

Today the Museum houses 242 glass negative, 107 ethnographic objects and 4 paintings of Ethiopia, who gathered the expedition ENU. Photography during the expedition together with Cricket worked, and the Gumilev. The meeting is one of the earliest ethnographic collection of images from Eastern Africa, where displayed everyday scenes on the streets of towns and villages, population, clothing, housing, household utensils, architecture, monuments, literature, landscapes. And in many pictures reflected a long-vanished culture of the local people, captured before the start of their intensive contacts with the Europeans. Noted that descriptions of collections made by collectors, also have great scientific value. Online catalogue of the collection laid out for the first time.