Women and Demons in Medieval Finland.

The aim of the article is primarily to examine late medieval wall paintings in the church of Espoo that include women with some form of diabolical entity. The paintings under examination include five different motifs: the milking and churning, the Journey to Blåkulla, Skoella and Tutivillus.

The milking scene in Espoo shows a woman with a cow and a man-size demon with horns, hoofs and a tail observing the task (Fig. 1). Immediately above the woman milking a cow
another woman is seen riding on a broom, holding a pouch-like object in her left hand and a horn in her right (Figs. 1, 3).

On the south side of the church, the milking scene continues with a scene representing a demon assisting women in churning the butter (Fig. 2). Skoella scene represents a demon passing a pair of shoes to a woman on the west wall above the entrance (Fig. 7), and above, three demons are seen twiddling with a parchment (Fig. 9). This motif is referred to as Tutivillus. The analysis of the motifs begins with the examination of the images at their visual level in which the content of the images is explained. The analysis then proceeds to the examination of the motifs in their cultural and historical context. The article discusses the origin of the different motifs and compares them to similar ones found among other early
sixteenth-century wall paintings in Finland. The methodological approach combines art historical analysis and cultural-historical contextualisation.

A fascinating look at the pairing of women and demons, where a woman-centered activity is involved. Demons, always so much more interesting than saints and gods, even in churches. The paper may be read here.

The Migrant Quilt Project.

TUCSON SECTOR 2004-2005, 282 deaths.
Made by Carol Hood, Sunny Klapp, Phyllis Sager, & Virginia Wenzel, of Prescott, Arizona.

Picked from the desert, I’m gazing at the tiny pieces of Jeans. These are what’s left of real lives. They had hopes and dreams of better and safer futures. (Virginia Wenzel)

There is a wealth of heartbreak at The Migrant Quilt Project, but it’s heartbreak all should feel. No one should be able to turn a cold heart and hateful mind to the mute witness of so much death.

The Migrant Quilt Project.

Bronze Age Insight.

Due to the seal’s small size and veining on the stone, many of the miniature details are only clearly visible via photomicroscopy. (all images Courtesy of The Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati, and used with permission).

Due to the seal’s small size and veining on the stone, many of the miniature details are only clearly visible via photomicroscopy. (all images Courtesy of The Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati, and used with permission).

Drawing of the detailed combat scene captured on an agate sealstone discovered by the University of Cincinnati’s Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis. (images Courtesy Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati).

Drawing of the detailed combat scene captured on an agate sealstone discovered by the University of Cincinnati’s Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis. (images Courtesy Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati).

The piece of stone may only be a little over 1.4 inches long (~3.5cm), but the meticulous detail of the carved scene featuring three warriors in hand-to-hand combat is a stunning display of ancient artistic skill and it may challenge our perceptions of naturalism in the Ancient Aegean era.

[…]

Jack Davis, who is one of the excavation’s co-leaders, suggests the find is unprecedented. “What is fascinating is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that one doesn’t find again until the classical period of Greek art 1,000 years later,” Davis explained to UC Magazine. “It’s a spectacular find. … Some of the details on this are only a half-millimeter big,” he said. “It seems that the Minoans were producing art of the sort that no one ever imagined they were capable of producing. … It shows that their ability and interest in representational art, particularly movement and human anatomy, is beyond what it was imagined to be. Combined with the stylized features, that itself is just extraordinary.”

The source for the battle scene may not be clear, but researchers believe that the miniature battle must reflect a legend that was well known to the people of the region. The tomb also held an intact skeleton, which UC researchers have labeled the “Griffin Warrior” for the discovery of an ivory plaque depicting a mythical griffin. The 3,500-year-old shaft grave also includes more than 3,000 objects, including four solid gold rings, silver cups, precious stone beads, fine-toothed ivory combs, and an intricately built sword.

You can read more at Hyperallergic, and definitely check out the Griffin Warrior.