“For these seafaring people, geographic knowledge was something remembered and shared through stories and conversations of travels and hunting. “The drawing of charts and maps,” Holm wrote, “was of course quite unknown to the people of [Ammassalik], but I have often seen how clever they were as soon as they grasped the idea of our charts. A native from Sermelik, called Angmagainak, who had never had a pencil in his hand and had only once visited the East coast, drew a fine chart for me covering the whole distance from Tingmiarniut to Sermiligak, about 280 miles.” They also provided him with incredibly detailed descriptions of terrain, flora and fauna, and, in some cases, local weather patterns and lunar and solar cycles. To pass some of this knowledge on to the curious, acquisitive Holm, one hunter presented him with a set of unusual maps that have been, by turns, overlooked, discounted, misunderstood, and, eventually, admired.”
“But woodcarving was a common activity among the Tunumiit and Holm mentions that carving maps was not out of the ordinary. The Inuit people have used carvings in a certain way—to accompany stories and illustrate important information about people, places, and things. A wooden relief map, would have functioned as a storytelling device, like a drawing in the sand or snow, that could be discarded after the story was told. As geographer Robert Rundstum has noted, in Inuit tradition, the act of making a map was frequently much more important than the finished map itself. The real map always exists in one’s head. Though the maps themselves are unique, the sentiments and view of the world they represent were universal to the culture that made them.”
…Much more including annotated manipulatable 3-d models on this great post from Atlas Obscura.
“From the moment they were printed, the series of woodcuts with the title Intimités was considered to be a prestigious project. When the avant-garde publication La Revue blanche printed the series in an exclusive edition of 25 in 1898, the modern art of printmaking was more popular than ever in the Paris art world. Among his fellow printmakers, Félix Vallotton was one of the most renowned artists. He was recognized as an innovator of the medium of the woodcut and his prints dating from 1896 to 1898 are the culmination of his career.
“Intimités has always been recognized as his most impressive work and even in his own time they were already more appreciated than his paintings. With these ten dark woodcuts, their black surfaces cut through by a few white lines, Vallotton probed the emotional lives of the Paris bourgeoisie. He portrayed the eternal struggle between man and woman by means of theatrical scenes and suggestive titles, such as The Lie, The Money and The Irreparable. Vallotton brought to the surface his cynical view on love. Women are portrayed as superficial, calculating creatures: cruel, insatiable and triumphing.”
“Handwritten in ink. From the 18th century, and perhaps even earlier, hollow eggs on which sacred texts had been written in micrography were used to decorate European sukkahs. Not all the texts related directly to the holiday of Sukkot, the Festival of Booths: this example has Song of Songs 1-4:7 inscribed in miniscule letters. At times feathers were added to the hanging egg, so that it looked like a bird in flight.”
“These wonderful images featured here are from a Japanese painted scroll known as the Bakemono zukushi. The artist and date is unknown, though its thought to hail from the Edo-period, sometime from the 18th or 19th century. Across it’s length are depicted a ghoulish array of “yokai” from Japanese folklore. In his The Book of Yokai, Michael Dylan Foster describes a yokai as:
‘a weird or mysterious creature, a monster or fantastic being, a spirit or a sprite … creatures of the borderlands, living on the edge of town, or in the mountains between villages, or in the eddies of a river running between two rice fields. They often appear at twilight, that gray time when the familiar seems strange and faces become indistinguishable. They haunt bridges and tunnels, entranceways and thresholds. They lurk at crossroads.’“
“The class of yokai characterised by an ability to shapeshift, and that featured in this scroll, is the bakemono (or obake), a word literally meaning “changing thing” or “thing that changes”. The founding father of minzokugaku (Japanese folklore studies), Yanagita Kuno (1875–1962), drew a distinction between yurei (ghosts) and bakemono: the former haunt people and are associated with the depth of night, whereas the latter haunt places and are seen by the dim light of dusk or dawn.”
“Amongst the bakemono monsters depicted in the scroll is the rokurokubi (ろくろくび), a long-necked woman whose name literally means “pulley neck”. Whether shown with a completely detachable head (more common in Chinese versions), or with head upon the end of a long threadlike neck as shown here, the head of the rokurokubi has the ability to fly about independently of the body. In his 1904 collection Kwaidan, Lafcadio Hearn provides the first extended discussion of this yokai in English, telling of a samurai-turned-travelling-priest who finds himself staying the night in a household of rokurokubi intent on eating their guest.”