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Adventures in Siberia! - Photographs by Kai Donner, 1911–1914

The exhibition by the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida displays photographs by Kai Donner, a researcher of Siberian languages and cultures, from his expeditions between 1911 and 1914. The year 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of Donner’s expeditions. Kai Donner (1888‒1935) was a Finnish linguist, ethnographer, explorer, writer and a political figure.

Oct 09, 2015
Every week until Feb 21, 2016
Contact Name Marjo-Riitta Rantamäki
Contact Email
Contact Phone +358 40 571 5670
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The photographs take us on a time trip to the 1910s, to the midst of the bare scenery of Siberia. In the exhibition, we meet indigenous peoples but also merchants, doctors and officers that Donner met in Russian villages and towns. The Adventures in Siberia photography exhibit also includes a unique picture of a shaman that Donner managed to photograph, after a great deal of persuasion.

Kai Donner’s journeys in the 1910s were real adventures that involved the risk of frostbite or even starvation. Travelling in Siberia meant being pulled by the reindeer of the Samoyeds through uninhabited tundra, sometimes in –50 degrees Centigrade. In addition to the photographs, linguist Donner managed to record some of the language of the last Kamasins in Siberia.

The Adventures in Siberia photography exhibition, produced by the Museum of Cultures, is a result of cooperation between the Museum of Cultures, the Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities and the Finno-Ugrian Society. Donner’s photography collection of more than 500 negatives is part of the Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities.

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