US GIs in Troina, Sicily, August 1943/Robert Capa
LA VENTA, TABASCO. MEXICO - Beginning in 1938, Matthew Stirling, chief of the Smithsonian Bureau of American Ethnology, led eight National Geographic-sponsored expeditions to Tabasco and Veracruz in Mexico. He uncovered 11 colossal stone heads, evidence of the ancient Olmec civilization that had lain buried for 15 centuries. (Photo by Richard Hewitt Stewart)
Often mistakenly referred to as “female samurai”, female warriors have a long history in Japan, beginning long before samurai emerged as a warrior class.
The Medieval Hall in the middle of the Met is the original building:
American architect Calvert Vaux was given the commission to design the first wing of the museum: The Medieval Hall, which is in the center of the museum complex today. It was completed in 1880, but is now surrounded by extensions on all sides. You can still see Vaux’s original Victorian Gothic façade in various places, like in the Robert Lehman Wing.
The American Wing was once a freestanding building:
The neoclassical facade of the American Wing, curiously built into the wall of Engelhard Court (Gallery 700), was actually a freestanding building facing an exterior garden for fifty years, until it was enclosed in 1980. The facade was rescued from the Branch Bank of the United States, located on Wall Street, before that building’s demolition in the 1920′s.
Un détail du ‘mammisi’ romain montre l’empereur qui offre des choses à la déesse. Le bâtiment est dédié à Hathor et son fils, Ihy.
“Haenyo – The Indomitable Diving Grandmas of Jeju Island”
They call themselves haenyo (pronounced hen-yuh), which literally means sea women and the whistling sound they made preceding their exit from the depths is called sumbisori. They are representative of a centuries old tradition, one which transformed their island in to a functioning matriarchy but a way of life which today is in danger of disappearing forever.
The island of Jeju, 53 miles south of mainland Korea, lies at the watery crossroads of the Yellow and East China Seas. Diving for conch, octopus, urchin, and abalone had always taken place there but due to large taxes was never very profitable – something men would take up if there was no alternative. That was until a canny group of women in the 18th century realized that women did not, unlike their men folk, have to pay taxes. A loophole was about to become a living.
The haenyo (sometimes spelled haenyeo) do not use oxygen tanks, which would only weigh them down and make their difficult task even harder. Their black wet suits and goggles are all they need to descend to the sea floor to collect their bounty. The skills they possess serve them well now – and did so too under the Japanese occupation of the Second World War. Many haenyo became heroines of the Korean resistance movement.
Learn more about these awesome women over at Kuriositas!
[via The Presurfer]
Flatiron Building under construction, 1901
New York City
Happy Birthday Peter Carl Fabergé [1846-1920]
“Peter Carl Fabergé also known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé in Russia was a Russian jeweller, best known for the famous Fabergé eggs, made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials. Wikipedia”
Ohaguro is a Japanese aristocratic term describing the custom of dyeing one’s teeth black. In Japan, it existed from ancient times, and was seen among the civilians until the end of the Meiji period(1868 -1912). Pitch black things such as glaze like lacquer were seen as beautiful.
Footbridge ropes stretch across the Golden Gate Bridge under construction. San Francisco, California, September 1935.
Photograph by Charles M. Hiller.
The bridge celebrated its 75th anniversary this past Sunday!
Today’s Egypt post comes from the Maydoum pyramid.
I can’t honestly say I had the best time at this site. They Pyramid itself was pretty cool and you had to go up a series of rickety wooden steps just to get to the entrance. From there you got a great view of the mastabas and tombs to the left of the Pyramid (built up from an Old Kingdom sun temple). The problem I had was entering the Pyramid itself. It’s a 57 metre steep slope with only boards that had ruts to aid your descent. Now I am petrified of unfamiliar stairs and walking down them (Climacophobia) I know it’s irrational but it scares the bejeezus out of me. So I decided I wouldn’t go in. Turns out I didn’t have a choice and was forced into the pyramid by another member of the group who was decidedly unimpressed with my hysterical crying. Serves her right.
Inside smelled mostly of ammonia. Yay Bat pee!! There was a rickety wooden ladder to get into the main chamber (the Egyptians have clearly never heard of Health and Safety and it’s great!). Crowding all 20 of us into this very small chamber was probably not the best idea but it was great fun to play change places like sardines trying to get out. After that we had a 57m steep climb back up and out. I didn’t feel my legs for 2 days afterwards and when I finally felt them I really wished I couldn’t.
The mastabas were pretty cool. Most of us didn’t actually get to go into many as the tunnels were small and there just wasn’t enough room for us all. They were definitely the definition of rabbit warrens though. Some parts could only be reached by ladders.
Maydoum: Pyramids smell like Bat pee and never underestimate the pain of pyramid leg.
A rare early 18th century Memento Mori band gold known as a skeletal, as the whole length of the skeleton is employed on the outside of the hoop, with other emblems. The earliest known example is dated 1659. This ring is enamelled in black with a full skeleton, twin hearts for love and an hourglass, symbolic of the passage of time and the brevity of life.