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  ICME Newsletter 37, April 2004


  • ICME 2004 UPDATE

<h3>ICME 2004 - UPDATE</h3>

"Museums and Intangible Heritage" ICOM 2004 general conference, Seoul, Korea

As you all know, the ICOM 2004 general conference runs from October 2-8, with the ICME sessions being held during the middle three days, October 4-6. Here is the tentative schedule:

  • October 2: Registration, ICOM Executive Council Meeting, Welcome Reception.
  • October 3: Forum Discussion on "Museums and Intangible Heritage", Keynote presentations, Opening Event and Gala Dinner.
  • October 4: ICME and its Korean liaison institution, the National Folk Museum of Korea collaborate to prepare a concurrent session on "Museums and Living Heritage", which will be open for all of ICOM.


  • October 5: ICME is invited to come to the National Folk Museum of Korea, which lies in beautiful Kyongbokkung Palace. The visit will include tours of the museum and palace grounds, attending the opening of a new temporary exhibition on "wood and paper crafts as intangible heritage", 'hands on' workshops at the adjoining children's museum and discussions concerning Eastern and Western forms of presentation. See their web page at http://www.nfm.go.kr/
  • October 6: ICME presentations on "Museums and Intangible Heritage", as well as other themes. General Assembly of ICME in the late afternoon.
  • October 7: Excursion day, with a choice of several tours in and around Seoul (Information on the ICOM2004 registration form).
  • October 8: General Assembly of ICOM, Final Plenary Session, Farewell party
  • October 9-10: ICME Post-conference tour to Chungnam province (see below)

Conference registration, hotel booking and general information is available on the main conference web site: http://www.icom2004.org/

Proposals for papers on the theme "Museums and Intangible Heritage" must be sendt to ICME president Per B. Rekdal before June 1st, 2004: president@icme.icom.museum tel: +47 22859964, fax: +47 22859960

<h3>POST-CONFERENCE TOUR October 9-10</h3>

The National Folk Museum of Korea has taken the initative to arrange a two-day, one-night cultural tour specifically for ICME members to Chungnam province, in the heart of the Korean peninsula near the west sea.


 The tour includes visits to a number of historical sights along the western edge of the peninsula, such as traditional houses of Korean nobels, farm houses, viewing a shamanic ritual, and getting the chance to learn about Korean pottery making. On saturday evening, the group will sleep and participate in rituals at Sudeoksa Temple, near the town of Yesan. This temple belongs to the Korean Buddhist Jogye Order, and is famous for its scenic setting, as well as having the oldest preserved wooden structure in Korea. As Sudeoksa Temple is not normally open for foriegn overnight visitors, this trip may be a once-in-a lifetime chance for many of you!

October 9, Saturday

- 10:00 Arrival in Giji-si

 Korean tug-of-war playing, experience straw-twisting to make ropehttp://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST/db/read.php?idx=264

- 12:20 Arrival at Janghyeon-ni village in Seosan-si

Watching a gut (Korean shamanistic ritual), tasting Korean food


- 15:50 Arrival at Hami Fortress


- 16:40 Arrival at Sudeoksa Temple


October 10, Sunday

- 3:00 wake up & performing Buddhist player

- 9:00 Departure from Sudeoksa Temple

- 9:30 Arrival at Pottery Village in Galsan

The tradition of Onggi pottery-making combines simple beauty with functionality, as this pottery is normally used for storing food (such as kimchee). Onggi pottery pieces can be as small as 6 inches or as tall as 6 feet. They are brown, but often streaked with gray. In Galsan, you have a chance to learn its secrets!http://english.whatsonkorea.com/main.ph?code=H&scode=H-15&pst=L

- 14:00 Arrival at Jangseung Village in Cheongyang

Jangseungje is a shamanic ritual observed in front of Jangseung, two wooden poles in the shape of a man and a woman, erected at the sides of the entrance to a village. Sotdae are wooden birds on poles which serve the function of village guardians, and which have been chosen of the symbol of ICOM2004. www.visitkorea.or.kr/eng/info_db/dest/sight_detail.jsp

- 15:50 Arrival at Folk Village at Oiam-ni

This village contains traditional Korean houses which are preserved as a national heritage site. The Lee family has lived there for 500 years. The village is located below Mt. Seolhwa, outside of Asan City

- 19:00 Arrival in Seoul

Tour dates: October 9-10

Cost: $160 per-person (fee to be paid separately to the account of the National Folk Museum of Korea)

To register for the ICME post-conference tour, please, provide us with the following data:

Yes! I wish to join the ICME post-conference tour on October 9-10

Full Name:

Full address:

E-mail (or fax number):

Tour registration and payment deadline: September first, 2004. In order to allow us to keep a better overview, please send tour registration to BOTH of the following email addresses:

As this tour organized separately from other ICOM 2004 activities, the tour fee must also be paid to a separate account.

Account information:

Bank : Woori Bank, Susongdong Branch

Address: 146-12 Susong-dong Chongro-ku Seoul 110-140 Korea

Account Number : 082-029386-41-118

Account Owner : The Society for Korean Folk Museum<

Swift Code: HVBKKRSE

If paying to the Korean account is difficult or prohibitively expensive from your bank, you may alternatively transfer the conference tour fee into the ICME account in Denmark. All payments to this account must include name, institution, country of person paying plus purpose of payment Bank:

Nordea S.W.I.F.T.

address: NDEA DK KK

IBAN: DK8920000103290015

Address: 7. Nygade, DK-1164 Copenhagen K, Denmark

For credit of account: bank code: 2191, account no. 0103290015

Account name (must always be used): ICME 387511


Notes after a trip to Korea, february 2004

1) COEX http://www.coex.co.kr/English/

The facilities of the conference centre are really excellent. The area set off for ICOM 2004 has rooms for each international committee's sessions close to each other on the same floor along a 200 meter long hall. It will be spacious and easy to find each other. From the mingle area you look over to an old, beautiful Buddhist monastery across the street, which can be visited.

"Power Point" presentations are not only welcome, but recommended by the conference facilitators (They have slide projectors, but beamers/power point are preferred). A special room is set off with proper equipment and personnel so that each speaker can test out his/her power point presentation in advance.

COEX Mall in the basement (and also on some other floors) contains numerous restaurants and cafés of all kinds. This means that session time is not lost while delegates spread out in a large area hunting for lunch and not coming back for hours. Banks are also found in the basement as well as innumerable shops of all kinds (for instance the second largest bookshop in Seoul). And a subway station. Plus an aquarium. Plus a number of cinemas.

 Elsewhere in the COEX complex is a Kimchi museum http://www.kimchimuseum.co.kr/english/eng01.htm. Kimchi is a traditional dish that all Koreans seem to be mildly (or was it wildly?) obsessed with. Joking aside, making kimchi was the traditional way of preserving cabbage so that vegetables could be had all through winter. You'll find enormous kimchi-pots at the back of restaurants, still in use, and if there is one souvenir I'd have loved to bring home from Korea it must be one of the man-sized kimchi-pots. They are magnificent).

In short: everything can be done at the COEX.

2) Flying to and from Korea

For some airlines, there is also an air terminal in the basement of COEX, where you can check your luggage in upon departure and be transport to the airport. But this is only for a few Asian airlines, though including Korean Air and its alliance partner Air France. Bus transport (often called limousine) to the airport is from many places in Seoul and is not hard to find. Costs 12.000 won. It is very easy to find your way at the terminal building at the new international airport INCHEON, both on arrival and departure.

It may pay to check Korean Air separately. Korean Air flies from several European cities as well as from several cities in North America, from Cairo in Africa and of course from multiple cities in Asia and Oceania.

3) Accomodation in Seoul

The organisers have compiled a varied list of accomodation possibilities - from full-service five-star hotels through three-star hotels around USD 50-70, to inexpensive home-stay and temple-stay options at USD 20 per night. Some of the accomodations are within walking distance of COEX.

4) Transport in Seoul

The subway system is everywhere and is said to be very efficient (although I have not tried it). It does inevitably take some time, though, if you have to use several lines in order to reach from A to B. Participants should take travel time into account if they plan to attend programs taking place in different parts of the city. Taxies are numerous, black taxies (luxury taxies) are more expensive than the others. In the rush hours, surface transport takes time!!!

5) Food/eating out

Korean food is fabulous. If ever there was a country to visit just for the food, it must be Korea. The Koreans often worry about their food being too spicy for their foreign guests. Don't worry, it is usually only mildly spicy. A meal (lunch or dinner) may cost from 4 000 to 40 000 won and more (in 1 US$ you have about 1 200 won), depending on what kind of restaurant you choose. You will find lots of restaurants looking like snack bars that serve very good Korean meals from 5- to 10 000 won. Japanese restaurants are also common.

If you are many together at a bit more costly restaurant, it is not necessary to order a complete separate meal for each person. The number of side dishes alone is almost enough to satisfy.In many restaurants (cheap and expensive alike) you can choose between sitting at a low table and at a high table. Some restaurants have a fake low table! Underneath the table there is a hollow, making it possible to sit "normally", but the appearance is of sitting at a low table). A low table normally requires that you take off your shoes. In some other settings too, taking off your shoes is normal.

6) Seoul

Heavily damaged during the Korean war, Seoul now appears as the most modern megapolis. But the royal castles with their gardens and the mountains around, represent the timeless part. Notable is that areas of tall office buildings that in a Western city would go dead after office hours, in Seoul are vitally alive with bars, cafes and restaurants during the whole evening. And the numerous high rise apartment buildings that in Europe easily would be associated with less desired neighbourhoods, are the opposite in Seoul: they are sought after, they are well kept, they are expensive and the surroundings are a wonder of tidiness and neatly parked new cars.

As such, Seoul is a challenge to what at least Europeans have a tendency to take for granted as constituting a good and beautiful city. The inhabitants seem to thrive in their ultramodern megapolis, the crime rate is low, the streets and sidewalks are clean and people are friendly. Of course, they do have their share of all the usual problems of large cities - no reason to idealize - but it is nevertheless interesting to experience how differently what is seen desirable and not, can be conceived. However, Europeans should not worry: There ARE areas of narrow streets and low, cosy buildings with small shops and restaurants well suited for strolling around in. But there will not be much time for it: numerous cultural events are planned at both COEX and other parts of Seoul.

Per B. Rekdal



At the end of May 2003, after 14 years of being closed, the new permanent exhibition of the Styrian ethnographic museum in Graz was presented to the public. This museum was created in 1913 as a part of "Landesmuseum Joanneum", preceding the founding of the Austrian Ethnographic Museum in Vienna by four years. Contrary to the Vienna museum, the museum in Graz has always focused only on traditional life in the Austrian region of Styria.


The new steady exhibition opens with a presentation of the history of the museum. Photographs and parts of the old permanent exhibition are shown in order to demonstrate the early twentieth-century idea of the "Total piece of art" within which showcases and all parts of furnishing had to correspond in style with exhibited objects. This is compared with the esthetics of the new exhibition, where exhibition architecture tends to be a neutral stage for objects. One of the aims of this introductory section was also to point to the fact that every historic period has had its specific methods, criteria for collecting and ways of exhibiting, as a result of overall esthetic, social, and spiritual values.


 The exhibition follows three dominant themes: "The house and the dwelling", "Clothes as costume" and "Rituals and beliefs". The first theme section preserves an almost legendary part of the old exhibition: the smoke room (rauchstube). This is the traditional central room in a simple village house. The smoke room is followed by another ambient setting of a living room, where on three screens, films are shown that illustrate the ways in which rural culture has been seen, used and interpreted by urban culture throughout decades. The contrasting of exhibited objects with their idealized interpretations follows several sub-themes in the whole exhibition. In many sections, the pointing out of contemporary forms and expressions of an interpreted object or ritual is used. This successfully suggests to visitors the notion and quality of continuity and transformation of the phenomena in question.

 Regarding the section "Clothes as costume", much space is dedicated to showing the social meaning and evaluation of nineteenth-century "folk costume", at the time it was "discovered" by travelers, writers and artists. The activities of various societies and associations that endeavored to foster, preserve and renew costumes are shown, as much as their professional, sentimental and/or ideological interest and motives. It becomes obvious in which ways and to what extent the understanding and interpreting of clothing, understood as "folk costume", are tied to overall social and political transformations.

The last section deals with rituals and beliefs, where emphasis lies on the social meanings of ties among people regulated by customs and rituals. As is the case with the rest of this exhibition, many technical facilities enable visitors to inform themselves about the context of cultural elements in question, through additional sound sources (often containing various forms of narration) and many films.

For every permanent exhibition, one could be afraid that it would soon become obsolete or, simply, out of date in many regards. However, this exhibition has many dynamic, informative and motivating values - both on the level of technical and architectural solutions. On the professional level, the exhibition introduces some new questions. That will probably keep it interesting for a long time to many visitors that need overall information about Styrian traditional culture, as well as professionals who seek for a profound approach. For more background, see the museum web page at: http://www.volkskundemuseum-graz.at/

Lidija Nikocevic
Director, Ethnographic Museum of Istria, Croatia


On April 16th, the Museum of World Cultures, Castello D'Albertis in Genoa Italy, will finally reopen after restoration and total rufurbishment.

It hosts artifacts from the Americas, Africa and Oceania, partly collected during his travels by land and by sea by Captain D'Albertis, a genoese seaman deeply rooted in his own culture who lived between 1846 and 1932, and partly gathered in his castle by the city, thanks to donations and purchases after he died and left the castle to the city.

The building itself deserves considering not only because it is a neo-medieval castle built 100 years ago over Renaissance fortifications and a medieval tower, but also because it works as a leading thread of an itinerary inside the historic house of this genoese representative first and afterwards inside the ideological assumptions implicit in the display of the "others" by western societies during the past and nowadays.

Starting from the Captain's Wunderkammer approach of "his" museum, the visitors will come to develop a new understanding of the peoples the captain met, through today's point of view of the indigenous cultures, thanks to the awareness recently acquired by indigenous communities facing the radical changes of society.

A turkish drawing-room, a cabin, a columbian living-room in honour of Christopher Columbus and a gothic room where the Captain made the over one hundred sun dials he scattered all over the world, are only some of the most peculiar areas of his "home", which, moreover, is surrounded by a romantic garden with secret passages, ponds and artificial grottoes: a construction that worked as a strategy to build his own identity that tells us much over ourselves and our fears and desires.

The restoration of the castle created a new exhibition floor and made visible the medieval tower and the renaissance fortifications around which the castle had been built.

Moreover, the restoration raised the whole ceiling of the castle, substituting it with a glass roof in order to give light and life to a new building connecting the past to the future, which is the real mission of a museum nowadays, especially of ethnological museums of extraeuropean cultures, which are being questioned by their stakeholders for their past role of places of enlightenment, education and authority. In this new part of the museum, a radical change takes place and the archaeological and ethnological collections are being installed in a totally different way thanks to a renewed gaze. No longer expression and product of a colonial power, the new display of the collections favours an approach of exchange and communication with visitors, based on metaphor and awareness, trying to underline the various layers of meaning of the collections, informed by a different mental scheme depending on today's cultural, institutional and political context and agenda.Not only "objects under the glass", but a place to understand other cultures starting from our own, a place facing the port, historically always open to foreign peoples, which helps us understanding the world around us and our roots.

Maria Camilla De Palma
Director, Castello D'Albertis


AFRICOM is pleased to announce the release of the updated 'Directory of Museum Professionals in Africa', published in ooperation with the West African Museum Programme (WAMP). The Directory was generously funded by UNESCO and the French Association for Artistic Action (AFAA). Many of you may know of the first edition of the Directory, first published in 1993 by ICOM and WAMP.

Copies of the Directory are free for AFRICOM members, and US$10 + postage for non-members. The Directory is also available (for free) on CD-ROM (v.1) and an improved version 2 will soon be available. AFRICOM also hopes to make the Directory available through its web site in the very near future: http://www.african-museums.org/

John Odhiambo
Membership Services, AFRICOM


March 29-April 1: "Locating the Field: Metaphors of Space, Place and Context in Anthropology" Association of Social Anthropologists annual meeting, Durham, UK. http://www.theasa.org/asa04/

April 1-2: "Pacific ethnography, politics and museums", Museum Ethnographer's Group Conference, Cambridge, UK. Contact: Anita Herle ach13@cam.ac.uk or Tabitha Cadbury TC10006@cam.ac.uk

April 15-17: "Native Photographs as Survivance", Native American Literature Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. http://www.english.mnsu.edu/griffin/nativelit.htm

April 22-25: "CRISES" Annual Meeting of the AMERICAN ETHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY, Atlanta, GA, USA. http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/anthro/aes/crises.html

April 26-May 1, 2004: "Among Others: Conflict and Encounter in European and Mediterranean Societies", 8th Congress of SIEF in collaboration with ADAM (Association d'Anthropologie Méditerranéenne), Marseille, France. http://adam.mmsh.univ-aix.fr/AmongOthers/index_eng.htm

April 28-May 2: "Looking In, Reaching Out", Canadian Museums Association, 2004 Annual Conference in Québec City, Québec. http://www.museums.ca/conferences/default.htm

May 3-5: "Making it explicit: Presentation and representation of Native North Americans", 25th annual meeting of the American Indian Workshop, Leuven, Belgium. Deadline for abstracts: 30 Oct 2003. http://www.psy.kuleuven.ac.be/AIW25

May 14-15 : "Polynesian collections: interpretations of the past in the present", conference at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. http://www.uea.ac.uk/art/sru/polynesia

June 1: Deadline for ICME paper proposals on "Museums and Intangible Heritage", ICOM General Conference, Seoul, Korea. (see above)

June 5-6: Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology, 38th Annual Meeting, Tokyo, Japan. http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jse/index-e.html

June 12-13: "ORAL HISTORY ON DISPLAY: Presenting personal testimonies for exhibitions, presentations and publications" Annual Conference of the Oral History Society, Bournemouth University, Dorset, UK. http://www.oralhistory.org.uk/conferences/

June 18-21: "Hierarchy and Power in the History of Civilizations" Third International Conference organized by the Russian Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies in cooperation with the Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia. http://civreg.ru/english/conf/hierarchy2004.html

June 23-26: "Memory and Globalization", XIIIth International Oral History Conference, Rome, Italy. http://www.ioha.fgv.br/
June 28 - July 2: "New Technologies in the recording and presentation of Cultural Heritage" and "The promotion of the social role of the Contemporary Museum", 2nd International Museology Conference, Mytilene, Greece. http://www.aegean.gr/culturaltec/museum/2004/

July 4-31: "Constructing the Past in the Middle East: A Summer Institute" Course in Istanbul, Turkey, arranged by UCLA’s International Institute. http://www.international.ucla.edu/monument/

July 5-30: 2nd Technical Course on Inventory and Documentation of Immovable Cultural Heritage, South Africa. Application deadline: April 30. http://www.iccrom.org/africa2009

July 19-30: "Rewriting History: Emerging Identities and Nationalism in Central Asia". Course at Central European University, Budapest, HU. http://www.ceu.hu/sun/SUN_2004/brief_course_descriptions.htm#Rewriting History

July 20-25: "Oral poetry and nationalism" thirty-fourth conference of the International Ballad Commission, Riga, Latvia. http://www.lmuza.lv/ballads/en.htm

August 30 - September 2: "DIGITAL CULTURE AND HERITAGE", ICHIM 04 International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting, Berlin, Germany. Deadline for proposals: April 9. http://www.ichim.org/

September 1: Deadline for registration and payment for the ICME post-conference tour, ICOM General Conference, Seoul, Korea. (see above)

September 8-12: "Face to face: Connecting distance and proximity", European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), 8th bi-annual conference, Vienna, Austria. http://www.easaonline.org/, http://www.univie.ac.at/voelkerkunde/easa/

September 16-19, 20-21: "The Best in Heritage" and "Heritologia - The International Heritage Studies Forum", Dubrovnik, Croatia. http://www.TheBestInHeritage.com

September 27 - October 3: 15th International Ethnological Food Research Conference (in association with SIEF), Dubrovnik, Croatia, Theme: 'Mediterranean Food And Its Influences Abroad' http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/sief/dnl/15th_IEFR-Conference.doc

October 1: Deadline for paper proposals for "Folk Narrative Theories and Contemporary Practices" 14th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR), to be held July 26-31, 2005 in Tartu, Estonia. http://www.folklore.ee/isfnr/

October 2-8: "Museums and Intangible Heritage", ICOM General Conference, Seoul, Korea. http://www.icom2004.org/

October 25-30: ASTRA FILM FEST 2004, international festival of documentary film & visual anthropology, Sibiu, Romania. http://www.astrafilm. ro

November 1: Deadline for paper proposals for the international conference on "Material Cultures and the Creation of Knowledge", to be held at the UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH, UK, July 22-24, 2005. http://www.arts.ed.ac.uk/chb/matcult2005/

November 17-21: "Magic, Science and Religion" Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), San Francisco, CA, USA. http://www.aaanet.org

December 14-18: "Post Traditional Environments in a Post Global World", Ninth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Sharjah/Dubai, UAE. http://www.arch.ced.berkeley.edu/research/iaste/2004%20conference.htm

November 19-20: "Clusters, districts, and networks of tangible, intangible, and material cultural heritage in the Non-EU Mediterranean countries", workshop at the University of Turin, Italy. http://www.eblacenter.unito.it/workshop2004.html

December 15-19: "Strategies for Development of Indigenous People" and "Mega Urbanization, Multi-ethnic Society, Human Rights and Development": IUAES 2004 Inter-Congress, Kolkata and Ranchi, India. http://www.leidenuniv.nl/fsw/iuaes/10-01-CALCUTTACONGRESS.HTM

July 19-23, 2005: PACIFIC ARTS ASSOCIATION EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM, Salem, Massachusetts, USA. http://www.pacificarts.org/

ICME - International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography


Editors: Espen Wæhle & Daniel W. Papuga

Mailing address: ICME, Ethnographic Collection, The National Museum of Denmark,
12. Frederiksholms Kanal, DK-1220 Copenhagen K, Denmark,
tel.: +4533473206/03/04, fax.: +4533473320,
e-mail: editor@icme.icom.museum

Deadline for next issue, no 38: june 15th, 2004

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