Siberia, Rane Willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, anthropology, yukagihr, winter

Getting ready for the Siberian cold

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Asia

After a rather mild and wet winter, Denmark is gearing up for a couple of cold weeks. In the weather forecasts we have heard about a ‘Siberian wind’ coming from the East, bringing with it snow and freezing cold temperatures. To prepare ourselves, we have delved into our Siberian collections and found this lovely warm coat for you.

The coat was collected by anthropologist Rane Willerslev on an expedition to the Yukaghir people of Siberia in 1993. It is a woman’s outer coat, and it is part of a women’s outfit, all of which lies in the Ethnographic Collection at Moesgaard Museum. Here are some of the other elements to the outfit:

The beautiful inner coat, to keep you warm:

Siberia, Rane Willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, anthropology, yukagihr, winter

Thigh high boots made from reindeer calf fur:

Siberia, Rane Willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, anthropology, yukagihr, winter

An elaborately beaded apron:

Siberia, Rane Willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, anthropology, yukagihr, winter

Willerslev describes how this style of outfit was inspired by the Tungusic peoples, also living in Siberia, and that the Yukaghir have been dressing thus since the 16th century. When Willerslev was there in the 1990s, the Yukaghir men had begun wearing a more simple style of dress, and would only wear this more elaborate style when they were buried. The Yukaghir women, however, maintained this colourful fashion.

So, as we huddle inside by the fire (or brave the Siberian wind), we can dream of such an outfit, which is both warm and beautiful. I, for one, think it is much more striking than our puffy Michelin Man winter coats. And, I suppose, we can also feel thankful that our ‘Siberian cold’ will only reach down to about -15C at the lowest, and not actual Siberian temperatures of -60C…!

//Sophie Seebach

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putting thought to things

One thought on “Getting ready for the Siberian cold”

  1. Pingback: Spring has arrived! Wait, what…? Siberian snow shoes | ethnographica

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