Saaremaa, Muhumaa és Hiiumaa

The ethnographic images of the Estonian islands 100 years ago - The Aladár Bán collection 26/Jan/2013 - 19/May/2013
The exhibition presents Estonian ethnographic material collected by Aladár Bán (1871 - 1960) on the centennial of its first public showing in 1912.


Bán, a former in-depth researcher of the Finnish language and culture, turned to Estonian folklore and ethnography in 1910, visiting Estonia several times in his endeavour to translate the Kalevipoeg, the Estonian national epic, and collecting a large body of material expressly for the Museum of the Ethnography along the way. It is Bán's work that forms the core material of the Museum's Estonian collection to this day.

Bán's endeavours, backed by a donation from the Museum of Ethnography, produced a total of some 600 artefacts, including not only a preponderance of various textiles, but also tools, objects of utility, and jewellery, all collected according to consciously developed principles. Importantly, Bán sought out every Estonian cultural group of any significance, collecting artefacts not only from the mainland, but also from Estonia's larger islands, each of which boasted its own folk costumes and material cultural particularities. His collection from the archipelago is unusually large, representing a value that researchers of Estonian culture have only begun to appreciate.

The exhibition has much to offer not only the foreign visitor, but the Hungarian public, as well. Providing a glimpse of life on the exotic-sounding islands of Saarema, Muhumaa and Hiiumaa one hundred years in the past, the exhibition encourages the visitor to explore one new and lesser-known point on the cultural map of Europe.

Curated by Ágnes Kerezsi