Now available as a virtual exhibition:

“Heavyweight Fashion – Traditional Clothing and Adornment of the Herero Women”

The Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum (RPM) Hildesheim presents the new virtual exhibition Heavyweight Fashion – Traditional Clothing and Adornment of the Herero Women, which went online on 13 April 2022. As an “analogous” exhibition it was already shown at the RPM from 11 February 2020 until 31 January 2021. Thanks to financial support by the joint project “Provenance Research in Non-European Collections and Ethnography in Lower Saxony” (PAESE) it was now possible to create a virtual version. Sabine Lang, provenance researcher at the RPM, wrote the script. Jenny Hoyer, student of Visual Communication at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, made the script into a documentary-style virtual exhibition.

Transformation into a virtual format offered the opportunity to integrate many new features. In short videos, curator Sabine Lang provides in-depth information on individual objects and introduces their collectors. In addition, visitors learn about the laborious procedure used to create delicate discs of ostrich eggshell; the story behind make-up containers made of tortoise shell; the weight Herero women had to carry wearing clothing and items of adornment heavy with beads and tubes of iron; and the appeal of floaty cotton dresses introduced by missionaries.

The exhibition also addresses the German colonial period and traditional Herero material culture, as well as the loss of that material heritage in the wake of the Namibian War (1904-1908). Another issue raised is the difficulty of accomplishing one of the most important tasks of provenance research: to shed light on the exact circumstances under which objects were acquired in colonial contexts.

The virtual exhibition “Heavyweight Fashion” can be watched on the YouTube channel of the RPM.

Length: ca. 50 minutes. Language: German with English subtitles.