Caucasus and Crimea. Characteristic of the region

The largest part of the Caucasus is occupied by mountains. The Main Caucasian ridge stretches from the north-west to the south-east and divides the Caucasus into two parts: North Caucasus and Trans-Caucasus. Through the ages these two parts had a lot in common in both culture and economy. The geographic and economic conditions of the Caucasus in transition from the subtropical to the polar, as well as the natural isolation of certain territories influenced the ethnocultural image of the region, with the distinctive feature being the complexity of the ethnic and lingual complement.

Collections of relics of culture of the Caucasian and Crimean peoples

Culture of the Caucasus and Crimea are the most interesting regarding ethnography Europe region. Objects of the Caucasian and Crimean art and culture began to enter the Russian Museum of Ethnography in the first years of its existence. The first Caucasian collection was registered in the Museum in 1903. None less interesting then Caucasian collection is Crimean collection which entered the Museum from All- Russian Handicraft Exhibition of 1902.

 Museum collection

The development of the Caucasian collection was in full conformity with the objectives assigned to Russian museums in the late XIX and XX century and in particular to the Alexander’s III Russian Museum with the Ethnographic Department. In the opinion of the scholars that were the founding fathers of national museums, a museum containing ethnographic exhibits should serve certain purposes. This sort of museum is a powerful mean of attaining a national consciousness presenting Russia in its ethnographic diversity in the light of its national and state idea. Studies of non-Slavonic peoples should promote comparative research into Russia’s ethnography and demonstrate the sphere of Russia’s cultural and political influence in the East.

Throughout the Museum’s history the development of the Caucasus collections has been in tune with that facet of the national idea which regarded the real life in Russian provinces as more important than the ostentation and the cultural predominance of the centre. Naturally, the work of the Museum’s researchers of the Caucasus always reflected the current ideas in learning and society. Museum collections are the most important source for studying traditions and contemporary situation in Caucasus and Crime as distinctive territory with the peculiar historic and national colour.





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