Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some answers on medieval Finnish bands from Silja Penna-Haverinen

I have become interested recently in the medieval Finnish bands such as the Kaukola and Humikkala bands that appear in Hansen and the Kirkkomäki band described by Silja Penna-Haverinen in NESAT X. Imagine my delight when Silja herself commented on my previous post on the subject and said she would be willing to answer some questions I had. I thought I would share some information from her answers that might be of interest to people.

1. I feel a bit better about not being able to work out how the technique of altering the places of two adjacent tablets at the intersection of two diaonal lines works, because Silja says this research is out of date. Actually what was thought to be the two central tablets is only a single tablet (the pattern has an odd number).

2. Apparently there is no good source of photos of the Finnish bands from earlier than the 20th century (not even in Finnish publications), which is quite sad. There are some random published photos, but not any kind of compilation

3. Silja says that Hansen's 2 reconstructions of Finnish bands (Humikkala and Kaukola) were not based on a personal examination of the bands in question. He looked at some Finnish articles, and had help from a Finnish woman who might have seen the items in question in the National Museum through the showcase glass, but neither one of them have made any proper examination. Consequently they are very speculative and as someone who has seen the bands in person she can attest to the fact that they are not accurate. However, Silja knows someone who is working on a reconstruction of the Humikkala band, who has been able to study the original. I think I'll put my plans to create this band on hold until that comes out!

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