siberia, rane willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, snowshoes, winter, snow, cold, kamchatka, chukchi

Spring has arrived! Wait, what…? Siberian snowshoes

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Asia

When my co-corker called me this morning to tell me that she was in a bus sliding backwards down a hill due to heavy snow and a very icy road, I felt compelled to continue the Siberian theme of last week’s blog post. As I sit in my warm office (having caught the earlier bus that climbed that treacherous hill in a slow but steady pace, before the snow got too bad), I am looking out at a truly Arctic looking scene. Snow is pelting down, almost horizontally, and the usually unobstructed view of the surrounding forest is hidden behind a wall of white. I am seriously considering whether all our calendars are wrong – we cannot possibly be five days into spring with this weather.

Anyways, it in no way dampens my desire to venture out for a long walk, to feel the cold wind on my cheeks, and hear the crunch of snow beneath my feet, as long as I am properly dressed. I might have to, if the busses stop running and I have to walk home… And if that were to happen, I would love to me able to tie these snowshoes to my boots! They were, like last week’s fur clothes, collected by anthropologist and current Director of the National Museum, Rane Willerslev. These were his own, collected and used by himself on his expeditions to Achaywayam on the Kamchatka peninsula in Eastern Siberia.

This type of snowshoe was used by the reindeer herding Chukchi people amongst whom Rane was doing fieldwork. One of the things I really like about these shoes in particular, is the fact that they are made with blue nylon string, which both gives them a snazzy look, but also makes them more efficient, as the synthetic material doesn’t retain water.

Sadly, I cannot steal the snowshoes and use them outside, them being museum artefacts and all. But I did venture out in the gale to have a quick look at the view from the very top of the museum. So, I will leave you with a picture of lovely Denmark in spring:

siberia, rane willerslev, nationalmuseet, moesgaard museum, snowshoes, winter, snow, cold, kamchatka, chukchi

//Sophie Seebach

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