Material Culture

Material culture denotes human-produced objects that serve people’s social, functional, aesthetic and symbolic needs. Being a touchable or physical evidence of a culture, it reflects the mind-set, traditions, cosmology, crafts and the life-style of its producers and users. In today’s Kalmykia, many objects suited for traditional nomadic life, some of which have been documented here, are rapidly losing their relevance and usefulness in modern life, especially in urban settings. Being under the pressure of forces of modernity, many ‘traditional’ objects, which lost their functional value in the household, have either ended up in museums or have been turned into artifacts used in theatrical performances.

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