Tomsk State University
Department of History

634051 Russia, Tomsk, 34, Lenin Ave., room 30

Tel.: 007 3822 529 796

Kai Donner photographs exhibited at TSU

On June 1, 2015, at 17:30, the exhibition, titled ‘Peoples and cultures of Siberia in photographs taken by Finnish linguist and anthropologist Kai Donner’ has been launched at the TSU Culture Centre.  

It presents pictures taken by Kai Donner (1888-1935) during his two trips to Siberia, where he studied peoples of the region (southern and northern Selkups, Kamasins, and Vakhovskiye Khanty). His route went along the rivers Tom, Ob, Vah, Tym, Ket, Yenisey, Irtysh and through the cities of Tomsk, Narym, Yeniseysk, Krasnoyarsk, Surgut, Tobolsk, and Tymen.

In his expeditions, K. Donner, taking advantage of the photographic equipment available at the time, photographed vivid and revealing moments of the life of traditional communities of indigenous peoples of Siberia. These photographs constituted part of Donner’s research which defined the nature and contents thereof. Among them are portraits of individual people, families, groups; pictures of children and of the elderly are especially expressive. Kai Donner photographed villages, dwellings, household items, fishing and hunting, and places of worship. The pictures also depict landscapes and some episodes of his travelling, for example, a winter trip across tundra with a reindeer sleigh. Kai Donner’s photographed exhibited at TSU are one of the first visual sources on traditional culture of Samoyed peoples on the territory of contemporary Tomsk region and Krasnoyarsk area.

The exhibition is prepared by fellows of the TSU Laboratory for social and anthropological research (Department of History), of the TSU Institute of Arts and Culture, with support from TSU Rector Office, and in collaboration with Tomsk Regional Museum of Local History which offered some items from its collections for the exhibition, and National Board of Antiquities (Finland) which kindly provided TSU with these valuable photo materials. The exhibition includes 50 images in total.

The project "Man in a Changing World. Identity and Social Adaptation: Past and Present" is funded by the Russian Government
(grant #14.В25.31.0009)
© Laboratory for Social and Anthropoligical Research, 2013

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