Scan Magazine | Museum of the Month | Faroe Islands
The wool kept the Faroese people warm in a climate that is ever-changing, cold and sometimes downright brutal – weather that is simply not for the faint-hearted. The sheep on the Faroe Islands have double-coated wool that is rich in lanolin, which kept the people extra warm and dry. “Sheep were not just a source of food; they provided the first settlers with milk, and crucially wool. The Vikings weaved clothes and sails for ships and boats, and later people started knitting socks and jumpers,” says Winkler. As the world grew more global, wool was no longer just something to keep oneself warm; it became an important commodity, which the locals would trade for other goods with foreigners. In fact, several of the knitting patterns that are used by the big Faroese fashion houses today can be dated back at least a hundred years on the Faroe Islands. And if you haven’t guessed it yet, that is indeed also where the name of the exhibition came from. “We try to weave a thread from the past to the present and show people how the past, the present and the future are connected,” says Winkler. “We are also aiming to make the exhibitions crossdisciplinary.”Today, wool is a luxury rather than a necessity, and sheep keeping is more of a hobby than a livelihood.
A look at the national costume If you’re visiting the Faroe Islands in summer 2022, don’t miss the special exhibition about the national costume. In it, the National Museum interprets the national costume, while taking a look at the history of it. “As our society has become part of the global community, the national costume has evolved as well and become more individual or self-centred. Today, people will gladly spend extra money to stand out from the crowd. Unique buttons and jewellery, especially designed embroidery patterns for vests, scarves and pinafores are all ways to try to be different,” explains Winkler. “We also see a trend of people researching the past to bring their national outfit ’back to the roots’, to break from the trend right now.”
While there are many and constant changes, the national costume gives the Faroese people a great sense of unity and pride. Some things have not changed, however: the national costume is still mostly handmade, the quality is impeccable, and it is still worn during the national holiday in July, at weddings, and at graduations. This, and much more, you’ll be able to take a dive-deep into next summer. When visiting the National Museum, you’ll also be able to see the original Faroese rowing boat, as well as the full collection of the legendary Kirkjubøur benches from the 15th century. Web: www.tjodsavnid.fo Facebook: Tjóðsavnið
December 2021 | Issue 137 | 137