Korsun S. A. The Experience of Study and Publication of MAE RAS Collection on Indigenous Peoples of Russian America

KORSUN Sergei A. — Candidate of Historical Sciences, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Saint Petersburg). E-mail: ffsak@kunstkamera.ru

 

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ABSTRACT. The article focuses on the history of study and publication of MAE RAS collections from indigenous peoples of Russian America. These collections were assembled over the course of more than two hundred and fifty years, beginning in the middle of the 18th century. Thanks to the collecting activities of scholars, navigators, and employees of the Russian-American Company, the museum currently possesses the most valuable collections in terms of scientific significance, and the oldest — in terms of the collecting period, compared with other ethnographic museums of the world. European and American explorers began to assemble the collection in the territories of Alaska and California primarily at the end of the 19th century. At that time many elements of traditional aboriginal culture were being discarded or were disappearing under the influence of European culture. Therefore, the MAE collections from the peoples of Russian America are of great scientific significance to contemporary scholars and to the Native peoples of Alaska and California. Catalogues of museum collection from the Tlingit, Pacific Yupik, and Aleuts have been published since 2007. Currently, the museum is preparing the California catalogue for publication. The Dena’ina collection was published in a collective work as a result of the exhibition in Anchorage in 2013.

KEYWORDS: MAE RAS, catalogs, Tlingit, Pacific Yupik, Aleuts, Dena’ina, Californian Indians

DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2018-1-200-206

 
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