Apron for shaman's costume

Image by the Russian Museum of Ethnography
The backing is made of suede from wild reindeer, which is considered the "mother beast"a double of the spirit-ancestor of the shaman. Geometric designs executed in stripes of red cloth, white and dark leg fur of reindeer, embroidery of colored seed beads, and hairs from the beards of reindeer cover the apron. It is a symbolic representation of the shamanic tree, the three worlds (the upper, the middle and the lower). It is conceived as the shaman's route to those worlds. In the center of the apron there is an image of a helper spirit to the shaman in his journey through the worlds.

Eastern Siberia, Yenisei region, Yenisei District, Kas River, a western tributary of the middle Yenisei River, 1914.

Suede made of reindeer hide, dog fur, iron, seed beads, hair from the beards of reindeer, reindeer-leg fur, cloth, horse hair.

Length 78 cm.

Coll. No. 5589-37.

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