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  • Author Ainu people
  • Date of production end of the 19th century
  • Place of creation rice spoon: Russia, Sakhalin, Minue; small spoon for liquid food: Japan, Hokkaido, Matsumae; spoon for liquid food: Russia, Sakhalin, eastern coast
  • Rice spoon length: 38 cm
  • Small spoon for liquid food length: 35.5 cm
  • Spoon for liquid food length: 18 cm
  • ID no. 20885/mek, 20688/mek, 20718/mek
  • Museum The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków
  • Availability non-european collections of The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków
  • Subjects multiculture, at the table, written
  • Technique engraving
  • Material wood
  • Collector objects from the collection of Cecylia Chrzanowska
  • Acquired date donated in 1917
  • Object copyright The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków
  • Digital images copyright public domain
  • Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
  • Tags tradition , 3D plus , public domain
Print description

Rise spoon
A flat spoon made from a single piece of wood, with a paddle-like bowl with a triangular ending, and with the handle also having a triangular end. It is decorated with a characteristic geometric ornamentation in the form of a plaited rope, hinges and various cuts.

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Rise spoon
A flat spoon made from a single piece of wood, with a paddle-like bowl with a triangular ending, and with the handle also having a triangular end. It is decorated with a characteristic geometric ornamentation in the form of a plaited rope, hinges and various cuts. On the spoon's bowl there is an inscription in Russian, made by a collector po Ajnski sorompie, łożka dla nakidywania risa. Sachalin, wostocznyj bierieg, post Minue (sorompie in the Ainu language – rice spoon; eastern shore of Sakhalin, Minue post/station).

Small spoon for liquid food
A small spoon carved from a single piece of wood, with a boat-like bowl and a handle bent at a large obtuse angle, with an ending resembling a snake head and with a decoration resembling snake skin; the design was probably supposed to protect against a snake bite. On the handle there is an inscription made by a collector Japan. Mazoumay Aines.

Spoon for liquid food
Carved from a single piece of wood, with a small, deep, almost round bowl of thick walls, with V-endings at the base of the handle and on the opposite side. The handle is parallel to the bowl; it is long, semi-circular, widened and flat at the tip, rectangular in cross-section, finished by a triangular tooth with a hole for hanging. Only the tip of the handle is decorated with a geometrical engraving in the form of flourishes and brackets. On the undecorated part of the handle is an inscription in Russian made by a collector Mimpiej (łożka dla żydkich bliud), Ajnskaja, post Minue (Mimpiej, Ainu spoon for liquid food; Minue post).

The Ainu people, both those living in Hokkaido, formerly also in some parts of Honshu, as well as those of Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, used spoons of their own production, made of a single piece of wood, engraved with geometric patterns, with bowls made of both  natural shell and wood. Wooden spoons used for serving rice and thick dishes, called orompie, and spoons for different kinds of soups and liquid food, called mimpiej were common.

Elaborated by Eleonora Tenerowicz (The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

Dowiedz się więcej o wyjątkowej kolekcji łyżek z całego świata, która znajduje się w zbiorach Muzeum Etnograficznego w Krakowie.

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Inwokacja do bogini Kamuj-Fuci — opiekunki ogniska domowego

Inwokacja zapisana przez N.A. Newskiego.
„Twój oddech,
ciepłem wiejąc,
otuchy dodaje...

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Inwokacja zapisana przez N.A. Newskiego
„Twój oddech,
ciepłem wiejąc,
otuchy dodaje.
W kotle nad tobą
nasze pożywienie wisi;
Jak na lekarstwie
na nim wzrastamy.
Od dzieciństwa
Aż po starość
Obyśmy żadnych
W całej rodzinie
Niepokojów
Nie doświadczyli.
Przecieżeś nam matką,
opiekunką,
gospodynią-boginią.
Pomyślność
do nas przywołaj,
obdaruj nas nią.[1]

Opracowanie: Eleonora Tenerowicz (Muzeum Etnograficzne im. Seweryna Udzieli w Krakowie), © wszystkie prawa zastrzeżone 

Kim była bogini Kamuj-Fuci? Dowiedz się więcej o kulturze i wierzeniach Ajnów.
Zobacz z bliska łyżki Ajnów z kolekcji WMM.
Przeczytaj o tym, jak łyżki trafiły do Muzeum Etnograficznego w Krakowie.

[1] A. F. Majewicz, Dzieje i legendy Ajnów, Poznań 1991.

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The Spoons of Cecylia Chrzanowska

The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was a period of increased travel around the world for various purposes: exploration, research, and pure tourism. Various objects were brought back from these journeys, among which were both works of art of a specific culture, nation, or social group, as well as various utilitarian objects and souvenirs.

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The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was a period of increased travel around the world for various purposes: exploration, research, and pure tourism. Various objects were brought back from these journeys, among which were both works of art of a specific culture, nation, or social group, as well as various utilitarian objects and souvenirs. A hand-made and decorated spoon, which was easy and not troublesome to transport, and, at the same time, constituted a perfect souvenir from the trip, which could be hung on the wall as a kind of memento, and could also be given to someone, was such an object.
In the collection of Kraków Ethnographic Museum there is a collection of 900 spoons from around the world, collected at the end of the 19th century by a general's wife, Cecylia Chrzanowska, (family name Gilewicz), the wife of the general-lieutenant of the Russian army, Paweł Chrzanowski from Łaniów. She was the daughter of a Polish woman and Georgian man, whom Paweł Chrzanowski had met during his stay in Tiflis in the Caucasus, where he worked in the military judiciary. Chrzanowski was not only a general, but also a traveler and collector, and his collecting acumen was also shared by his wife. The general’s professional work, and his journeys deep into Asia to the ends of the Russian Empire in the Far East related to it, enabled him to collect items; however, this wouldn’t have been possible without his love of art and collecting acumen. After ending his professional career, his curiosity towards other cultures led Paweł Chrzanowski to go on a trip around the world, from which he brought back many works of oriental art. The fruit of all these trips are, among others, the spoons from various parts of the world, collected by the general’s wife.
Over 600 spoons from Cecylia Chrzanowska’s collection, made of various materials (wood, animal bones, tortoiseshell, shells, gourds, bamboo, metal, and porcelain) and used for various purposes, are a product of non-European cultures and nations. The most valuable ones, in terms of ethnography, are the spoons of Siberian nations, and also a unique collection of over a dozen spoons of the Ainu: a small group of indigenous inhabitants of Hokkaido, formerly inhabiting some areas of Honshu, the Kuriles islands, and Sakhalin, who differ significantly in appearance and customs from the rest of the inhabitants of Japan. Their lineage is not entirely clear. The word Ainu itself, in the language of this people, simply means “man”, and the Ainu themselves believe that they came from heaven. The basis of their belief system is: kamuj — ramat — inau, where kamuy are ghost-gods; ramat — the soul; and inau — specific intermediaries between gods and people, in the form of sticks adorned with a dangling swarf.
The spoons of the Ainu, held in the Museum, obtained from the collection of Cecylia Chrzanowska, are a small but important contribution to the study by Poles of the material culture of this people, a study which brought fame primarily for Bronisław Piłsudski, but also other Poles, such as, B. Dybowski, I. Kopernicki, I. Radliński, and W. Sieroszewski.


Elaborated by Eleonora Tenerowicz (The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved
See also:
Spoons of the Ainu people
 
 
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Religious Beliefs of the Ainu

In everything that surrounded Ainu, in all living things, as well in all objects created by them, the god-spirits lived. The Ainu called them kamuy. These spirits were responsible for all events and phenomena that occurred; this is why it was necessary to honour them and while commencing any work, it was necessary to perform prayers that involved offering them sacrifices. Good spirits were invited to their ceremonies and homes, and, after worshipping them, it was mandatory to send them back to their abodes. According to the Ainu, every object is not only the home of the kamuy spirits but also has a soul — ramat — and whoever or whatever does not possess ramat does not possess anything.

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In everything that surrounded Ainu, in all living things, as well in all objects created by them, the god-spirits lived. The Ainu called them kamuy. These spirits were responsible for all events and phenomena that occurred; this is why it was necessary to honour them and while commencing any work, it was necessary to perform prayers that involved offering them sacrifices. Good spirits were invited to their ceremonies and homes, and, after worshipping them, it was mandatory to send them back to their abodes. According to the Ainu, every object is not only the home of the kamuy spirits but also has a soul — ramat — and whoever or whatever does not possess ramat does not possess anything. An object could also lose its soul, for instance, by deliberate or accidental damage, breaking or crushing.
Eating utensils were also believed to have their own kamuy and ramat. Spoons with bowls made of natural shells and wooden spoons were used to prepare dishes and food. The wooden ones are more noteworthy, having been carved from a single piece of wood and possessing ornamented geometrical shafts. The shafts of these spoons resemble prayer spatulas — ikupasuy — the most important ritual objects for the Ainu, used by the men at ritual meals, during which they sent prayers to the gods, submerging them in a bowl of sake. Each spoon handle is decorated differently, in a manner characteristic of the area from which it comes, as well as for the owner himself. Patterns in the form of various swirls, braided cords, brackets, and notches fulfilled not only decorative functions, but also served as protection from evil kamuy. The carving and production of ritual objects, including the production of spoons, as well as hunting and fishing, was carried out by the men. Decorating these items so that they could fully perform their functions consumed a great deal of time and mental effort.


Elaborated by Eleonora Tenerowicz (The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

 

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Spoons of the Ainu people

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