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Artifact Collection No. 298  Figurines of Bovine Deity, Late Capitalist Era 



PICTURES | Amy Rajala; WORDS | Ashleigh Rajala.   


Museum of the Western World.    

A GUIDE   To The 

Suburban Galleries  


With 213 photographs and illustrations in the text.        

Printed by the order of the rich guys. __    3019.  __      All rights enforced with pepper spray.       




PREFACE       THIS  guide  contains  descriptions  of  the  monuments  contained  within  the  Suburban  Galleries,  which  are  exhibited  on  the  third  (3rd)  floor  of  the  Museum of the Western World, dedicated to the famed Late Capitalist era.  The  arrangement  is,  as  far  as  possible,  random.  Within  the  museum  at  large,  the  monuments  of  Late  Capitalism  are  placed  chiefly  in  the  Grand  Vestibule,  a  round,  open, and centrally located space1 — yet their influence  can be felt throughout.   In the surrounding galleries, monuments have been arranged however we  damn well feel like.   For  convenience  of  reference,  the  monuments  have  been  renumbered  randomly  with  identifiers indicated in Sharpie or perhaps even nowhere at  all. We have ceased to care.     E.A. PRIMROSE STALWORTH, Professor   



Designed as such by architect Phineas Onion to represent the complete and utter moral emptiness of the era.  

A 1   


The exact purpose of this plate and lid long eluded scholars, with many schools  of  ceramic-  and  floral-related  thought  weighing  in  over  the  years.  Early  thinkers  suggested  the  floral  motif  indicated  a  reverence  for  the  natural  world, with this plate and lid a trove for the storing of sacred plants.     However, they were sorely mistaken.   (over) 

No. 359. Ceremonial platter for worship of Bovine Deity.   Soft-paste porcelain, with floral-patterned underglaze and overglaze gild.  

B 15     

( con’t)

The results of close particle analysis on the plate surprised scholars when tests  confirmed positive match for milk solids. Decades of theory were thrown into  the bin and then swiftly retrieved and revised.     Unbeknownst  to  ceramic  and  floral  enthusiasts,  other  contemporaneous  thought had struggled to provide an explanation for the sheer number of cows  in the Late Capitalist era. The Milk Solids discovery provided a clear answer.     The Bovine Deity theory — or “Holy Cow” — was the revelatory result.     Now  widely  accepted  across  all  scholarship,  the  Bovine  Deity  theory  now  explains  many  artifacts  in  our  collection,  all  of  which  clearly  performed  ritualistic functions for the people of the Western World.  

No. 654. Ceremonial Altar of Bovine Deity. W ​ ood with acrylic paint.

B 16


No. 298. Figurine depicting multiple facets of Bovine Deity. Semi-vitreous stoneware with overglaze enamel decoration. 


Shortly after  the  emergence  of  the  Bovine  Deity  Theory,  scholars  first suggested the escalating sizes of  these  figurines  represented  the  cycle  of  death  and  rebirth  commonly  associated  with  Western  Worlder  deities.     However,  recent  scholarship  posits  that  the  varying  sizes  of  these  figurines  reflect  the  many  challenges  afflicting  Western  Worlders  throughout  the  Late  Capitalist  era  —  from  the  destructive  nature  of  methane gas (the larger figurine) to the well-done steak  served with ketchup (the smallest figurine).     B 17   


While  it  is  not  known  who  the  legendary  iPod  was,  scholars  can  ascertain  that  he  travelled  far  and  wide  across the Western World, as many artifacts bearing his  name  have  been excavated from sites dating throughout  the  Late  Capitalist  era.  It  has  been  suggested  (most  profusely  by  Professor  Dorcas  Whitelock) that this iPod  was likely a cleric devoted to the goddess of beauty, as the  slightly  reflective  surface  on  the  reverse  of  his  objects  appears to function as a rudimentary mirror.     Thus, iPod’s rudimentary mirrors would have functioned  in  a  ritualistic  sense,  allowing  iPod  himself  to  convene  directly with the goddess. 

B 46 


No. 869. Rudimentary Mirror of iPod. A ​ luminum, stainless steel and plastic composite.  

B 47  

(look down)  

It is  famously  known  that  Western  Worlders  worshipped  cats.  Figurines and motifs have been  found  at  countless  sites  and  ancient  texts  celebrate the feline form. Cats were believed to be  not only gods that walked amongst mere mortals,  but were protective household deities, as many—  if not most— households kept a cat.     Figurines  and  statues  such  as  this  would  have  been kept in much the same fashion— to ward off  evil  spirits.  Perhaps  they  would  also  have  been  used  in  a  ritual,  as  the  free-thinking  live  cats  would  surely  have  been  uncooperative  for  any  ritual purposes.    

No. 103. Statuettes of Feline Deity. W ​ ood with acrylic paint. 

B 89 

(it’s, like, right there)  

Such a  tool  as  this  provided  assistance  in  the  preparation  of  sacred  beverages  for  use in rituals  of  motherhood.  As  is  known  from  the  myths  and  legends  of the Late  Capitalist era, wine was imbibed in  a ceremonial fashion, wherein only  elite  females  participated.  Many  additional  artifacts  attest  to  this  cult  of  motherhood  and  its  intrinsic  connection  to  the  iconography of wine.    This  object  was  of  paramount  importance  in  the lives of women,  specifically  those  belonging  to  the  “Wine Mom” cults.   No. 752. Sacred Beverage Revealer.  Aluminium and steel composite. 

B 109   

(right, obviously)  

Speaking of  fun-time  deities,  ancient  Western  Worlder  oral  traditions  confirm  that  the  Coccinellidae  (“lady  bug”)  was  a  deity  of  luck.  Not  only  did  Western  Worlders  situate  themselves in close proximity to the brightly coloured beetle in  order to evoke good fortune, but young children often dressed  as “ladybugs” during the October festival of death. It has been  suggested that this was to ward them against ill omen on such a  dangerous and deadly night.     This  token  in  particular  likely  provided a ritualistic function  to generate good fortune for the household. 

B 166   

No. 503. Monument to Luck Deity. W ​ ood with acrylic paint.

B 167

No. 226. Figurine of rudimentary motor  vehicle. ​Plastic and metal  composite, enamel paint.  

                              (look up. look waaaaaaaaay up.)    A primitive form of transportation, motor vehicles2 were commonplace in  the Late Capitalist era (and some scholars argue also hastened its end). As  the subject of much myth and lore, it is unlikely that their sole use was as  transportation.  Rather,  the ubiquitousness of motor vehicles indicate the  presence of a prolific death cult across all of the Western World. Miniature  motor  vehicles  are  also  found  at  many sites in association with children,  suggesting indoctrination into the Death Cult began at an early age.      Such  a  diminutive  figurine  as  No.  226  must  then  have  functioned  as  a  symbol of transportation to the afterlife, likely for a funerary ritual.  2

Large enough to carry passengers, these deadly contraptions were powered by inefficient fuel sources, as Western Worlders proved unwilling to harness even the  most basic clean energy sources that we use today.  

B 180   

No. 567. Ceremonial Guidance Lantern. Composite materials, chiefly steel and glass​. 

(this one shouldn’t be so hard for you)   

Gas-fueled lanterns such as this persisted well into  the  Late  Capitalist  era,  even  while  technology  to  support electricity proliferated. The conclusion that  multiple  scholars  have  thus  drawn is that lanterns  such as this must have been used in ritual.    While  various  scholars  have  debated w ​ hich r​ ituals  the gas lanterns were used in, it is certainly possible  that  they  were  used  in  a  variety  of  rituals,  possessing, then, a p ​ an-ritual p ​ urpose.  B 191   

No. 412. Illuminated Salt Altar. P ​ ink salt crystal, carved.

B 202  

(what? where?!)

The proliferation of similar salt-based altars across the Western World during  the Late Capitalist era underscores the sacred value placed upon the mineral.  Ancient  texts  believed  to  have  been  manuals  for  potions  do  indicate  a very  high  level  of  salt content within foods. It is thus only a minor logical leap to  assume that salt figured significantly in their belief systems.     By  placing  a  source  of  light  within  the  altar  of  salt,  the  Western  Worlders  would likely then have uttered a prayer to the Salt God, asking that their soup  remain flavourful and sodium levels high.     This, like, f​ or sure h ​ ad ritualistic purposes.  

B 203  


The markings  inscripted  upon  this  particular  artifact  have  long  been  a  mystery  to  scholars.  “700  MB”  is  generally  believed  to  be  the  price  of  the  artifact, with “MB” surely one of the many so-called “crypto-currencies” that  proliferated  all  across  the  Late  Capitalist  era.  The  market  value  of  700 MB,  however, remains unknown.  

No. 26 Ritualistic Xmas Disc.   Aluminium-coated polycarbonate plastic. Flat, like a pancake. 

(oh, shit. now it’s above. what is this nonsense?) 

While the prevailing theory places “SONY CD-R” as code that years of study  have  been  unable  to  even  suggest  a  meaning  for,  the  mystery  of  the  words  “XMAS” are of intense, at times heated debate. Professor Theodosia Growden  has recently suggested a cult connection, with the “XMAS” possibly invoking  the  god  of  the  winter  season  (well-known to be the most highly regarded of  gods in the Western World).     Perhaps this round object thus carried with it ceremonial value, perhaps even  the intent of summoning a god. Otherwise, we have no fucking clue what the  hell it is. But it’s definitely ritualistic.  B 224     

(i give up)

At  once  both  enigmatic  and  entrancing,  No.  456  has  been  studied  perhaps more than any other artifact in the collection and to this day  its  purpose remains unclear. While adherents to the O ​ ctopus School  believe  the  presentation  of  this  artifact  reflects  a  belief  in  a  many-limbed god, recent scholarship has posited the idea that this is  not  a  many-limbed  god,  but  rather  a  belief  system  at  once  both  polytheistic  and  monotheistic;  just  as  many  tendrils  flail outwards,  all  comes  from  one  root.  It  is  certainly  possible  that  one  of  these  tendrils may represent the rumoured “Holy Ghost.”    Regardless, this must surely have been considered a form sacred to  the people of the Western World.     So, if it wasn’t used in a ritual, then what the fuck was it for?   


No. 456. Shrine to Octopus God. Maybe. W ​ ho the fuck knows?

B 254


LIST OF BENEFACTORS con’t      3017. 3004.  2998. 3008

3013. 3007.

3001. 3002.

3012. 3014.

Eliakim Lockett Relief from a wall of Congress Temperance Milgore  Glazed stoneware bowl, inscribed “Ikea” Milman Museum of Western Antiquities  “Laz-Y-Boy” Throne Mahala Mirk, MD  Illuminated Salt Altar Cups of ascending size, plastic Barnabas Murray, Esq. Seated figure of Peppa Pig Sir Jethro Neaton  Figurine of Worship, Aragorn (slightly broken) Figurine of Worship, Frodo (missing ring) Figurine of Worship, Gandalf (white) Figurine of Worship, Gandalf (grey) Figurine of Worship, Pippin (useless) Theophilius Nickle  Ritualistic Xmas Disc Pacific Northwest Coffee Museum  Starbucks Christmas Mug circa. 1998 Starbucks Christmas Mug circa. 1999 Starbucks Christmas Mug circa. 2000 Colonel Thaddeus Pentz  Underpants of Calvin Klein Professor Hecuba Pigget  Brass door knob with key jammed inside

No. 903 No. 232  No. 008  No. 412  No. 413    No. 712  No. 356  No. 357  No. 358  No. 359  No. 360  No. 26  No. 186  No. 187  No. 188  No. 632  No. 846 

C 25 


AMY RAJALA   Amy  Rajala  has  recently  been  acredicated  as  a  television  and video production graduate from British  Columbia's  Institute  of  Technology.  She  spends  most  days thinking about finding an industry related job.    Find her on Instagram @amyrajala 



Ashleigh  Rajala  has  lived  previous  incarnations  as  bookseller, filmmaker, zinester and wayward traveller.  She  is  currently  an  award-winning  writer  living  in  Surrey,  BC,  Canada  with  a  very  fluffy  cat  and  not-so-fluffy husband.    Find her online at ​ashleighrajala.com​.   

Photographs Copyright 2019 © Amy Rajala Text Copyright 2019 © Ashleigh Rajala 



Profile for Ashleigh Rajala

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