Steblin-Kamensky N. I. Recent acquisitions in the African collections of MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS: objects of Eritrean coffee ceremony

Nikolai I. Steblin-Kamensky
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia 


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УДК 069.424:39 
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2019-4(6)-51-59 


ABSTRACT. The article aims to describe new objects from Eritrea and Ethiopia (Tigray) in Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). There are 30 objects collected in Eritrea and Ethiopia in August and October 2018, which are divided into two collections―MAE № 7727 and NVF 106. These collections consist of 5 sets of northern type coffee pots (jebena) with props and filters as well as other equipment for Eritrean coffee ceremony and some household items of Tigrigna of Eritrea and Tegaru of Tigray. Both groups, Tigrigna and Tegaru, speak Tigrigna and are closely related. The division between these two groups probably started with the Italian colonization of the territory of modern Eritrea. Collection № 7727 also includes some objects of the wedding ceremony of Tigre. All the objects were created in the modern days, but the techniques applied might be centuries old. Nevertheless, these techniques are flexible enough to utilize modern materials. For example, plastic fiber often replaces leather in weaving. Collection № 7727 also includes a souvenir bracelet which reflects an important political development for the Horn of Africa―the conclusion of peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2018.


KEYWORDS: Eritrea, coffee ceremony, jebena, pottery



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