What does a weaved bag and a skirt from Dutch New Guinea, a Burmese man’s hat, a mask from Australian New Guinea, an ancestor skull from New Guinea, a rice sieve from Malaysia, a pair of Indonesian sandals, a Qatari gold earring, and a Latin American pot on unknown origin have in common?
Not much, to be quite honest; except for the fact that they are a part of the Ethnographic Collections at Moesgaard Museum. And the fact that they are all the colour of autumn. And sometimes, it seems fitting to appreciate artefacts not for their history or the analyses you can deduct from them, but for their beauty, and their colours and textures.
A few years ago, I spent four months in New England. And as the summer heat was replaced by a cool autumn breeze, I was fortunate enough to go to White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, to hike with my parents who had come for a visit. It was October, after the leaves had turned, but before they had been swept away by the first winter storm. And as we drove on country lanes, and hiked up into the mountains, we were met with one stunning view after the other. Golden yellows, burnt umber, warm ochres, startling reds; the forests looked like fire, frozen in time.
The colour palette of autumn will always be my favourite, which is why I have chosen to feature the artefacts of today’s blog. The warm ochre of the Burmese hat, the gold of the Qatari earrings, and the red of the Indonesian sandals all remind me of the beauty if this season, and for a moment let me forget about the dark and cold season to come.