Shelk’nam body paintings: ancient and recent uses of an ephemeral art form in Tierra del Fuego (southern end of Southamerica)
Dánae Fiore CONICET – AIA – University of Buenos Aires
We present the methods used to carry out a systematic research on 43 historical-ethnographic texts and 130 visual sources (33 drawings and 97 photographs) which record information about such artistic productions from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The research is completed with a study of the current uses of images of painted Shelk’nam persons and/or their body painting designs, on different material culture media: crafts, fine arts, street art, jewellery, stickers, etc. The forms in which the visual corpus of traditional body paintings hs been selected, reproduced and manipulated creatively to produce new images with new uses are discussed. It is suggested that: a) the uses of this body ornamentation technique were related to its versatile and ephemeral features, which facilitated the creation of different roles in different use contexts of Shelk’nam social life; b) the current reproduction of images of Shelk’nam painted persons has been oriented towards the representation of hain spirits (traditionally embodied during a male initiation ceremony) due to their appearance, which is esthetically original and visually “exotic” for current Western observers. Thus, the comparison developed here if followed by a reflection on the influence that production and use contexts had over the artistic images and their plastic, aesthetic, technical and funcional qualities, both in the past and the present, in the Southernmost end of Southamerica.
Criminal Justice in Iceland: Recent Prison Developments
Helgi Gunnlaugsson (University of Iceland)
Iceland is usually depicted as a low crime country possessing many of the social features characterizing such nations. How does the notion of Iceland as a low crime country hold when different forms of crime data are used such as imprisonment and recidivism rates? What characterizes Iceland´s confinement facilities? What is the typical sentence for different crime types? How has the situation regarding crime types and punishments developed in recent years? In this article, answers to these questions, and others, will be provided by using official sources, public data, news reports, and previous research on the subject.
Greenland -a country without prisons: Images of Greenlandic institutions of delinquents and its population
Annemette Nyborg Lauritsen (University of Greenland/ Ilisimatusarfik)
In 2018, Greenland is expected to have its first prison, and the idea of Greenland as the country without prisons will be history. However, even before the first prison is built, Greenland is among the hardest punitive countries in Scandinavia with more than 200 prisoners per 100 thousand of the national population. Most of the Greenlandic inmates are serving sentences for violence, homicide or sexual crimes.
For decades, the image of Greenland as the country without prisons has been successfully maintained. The background for a society without prisons is found in the Greenlandic criminal code of 1954. Prisons had no place in the criminal code – nor in Greenland. The link between guilt and punishment was broken and measures were adopted based on what best served the re-entry of the offender into society. Instead of serving a sentence in prison, the country’s offenders were to serve in open institutions in order to retain social connections to the surrounding community. The article examines the Greenlandic prison system and how it differs from ordinary prisons. Moreover, an insight to the social background of the prison population in Greenland will be provided.
The resilience of institutions: Uruguay, Iceland -a comparison
Örn D. Jónsson (University of Iceland)
The study is a comparison of the socioeconomic development of Iceland and Uruguay. Three frames of analysis are utilised; intuitional analysis; traditional economic approach and finally the emphasis is on learning processes and empowerment. The research is confined to the development before the 2008 focusing on institutional resilience and the importance of geopolitical settings; in the Cold War era, Iceland was located in the ‘frontier’, backed up by the United States while Uruguay located in the ‘backyard’.
Representations of Lapland in British Romantic Literature: toward ethnographical dissemination?
Maxime Briand (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en Yvelines, Paris-Saclay, France)
Romantic representations of Lapland were chiefly the joint product of the eighteenth century primitivist and sublime theory, notably responsible for the Ossianic revival initiated by Scottish antiquarian James Macpherson in the 1760s. Still unknown to many, the mythical Gaelic bard Ossian and his poems set off all over Europe a real “Celtomania” that eventually earned this literary figurethe distinguished title of “Homer of the North”, whose cultural significance far outstretched the bounds of the Scottish Highlands. As a matter of fact, sporadic literary allusions to Lapland and the Samí had already been made by that time through the publication and successive rewriting or imitations of two Lappish ballads. Subsequently entitled “Orra Moor” and “The Reindeer song,” they were presented as genuine specimen of Lappish poetry first communicated by a native named Olaus Matthias to German humanist Johannes Scheffer who included them in his history of the Samí, Lapponia (1673). This rather contrasted with a dogmatic Christian approach of Arctic religions and mythologies in terms of superstition directly connected with an only half-suppressed European belief in witchcraft still prevailing as a popular referential medium. This paper addresses the issueof what might be termed “ethnographical dissemination”, as resulting from the influence of Arctic travel writing upon Romantic poetry exemplified by the Lappish episode of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Destiny of Nations”(1796/1817).