The richest ethnographic collection of the Taimyr Local History Museum is represented by traditional clothing, household items, reindeer husbandry and fishing tools, jewelry and even toys of the indigenous peoples of the peninsula. Unique pipes stand out among household items, valued very much in Taimyr. A good pipe could cost more than ten deer.
The indigenous people forged them from old gun trunks, cutting intricate reliefs onto them. Each pipe was one of a kind and was the pride of the master and owner. The ones from the museum collection are richly inlaid with yellow and red copper, and even silver. For drawing patterns on metal products, masters used coinages made from old files, blades, screws. To create patterns on metal, they placed the end of the stamp onto the item’s surface and hit the upper end by a hammer. Patterns on metal objects are usually small; borders and various figures are made of them.
Pipes with long mouthpieces were decorated with copper screw-shaped inlay: a copper wire or a thin strip of copper was wound around the mouthpiece. After heating, the copper melted and remained on the iron.
There are samples from the mammoth bone, mainly from the tusks, in the Taimyr Museum. The bone soaked in water is easily processed with a knife. Nganasans covered their smoking pipes with ornaments of triangles, zigzags, rhombs. Till the end of self-isolation period you can see the rarities on the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore and on social networks.
Together with other Russian museums, the northernmost one participates in the national Artefact project of the Russian Ministry of Culture. The museum specialists from Dudinka prepare information on the unique items from their collection, primarily the material and spiritual culture of Arctic ethnic groups, for a multimedia platform with augmented reality technology.
Participation in the Artefact will allow the museum to present its rarities in detail on the national project website.
Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: Taimyr Museum of Local Lore