Oct 2, 2015

Samburu Warriors

This is my first postcard from Kenya! It was sent by Kiyoung via postcrossing [KE-2528]. It shows some Samburu warriors. As my fellow postcrosser informed me 'Samburu is one of the 42 tribes in Kenya'.

The Samburu tribe are a Nilotic tribe that inhabits Kenya's northern plains. They are a Maa-speaking group, and are very similar to the Maasai tribe. Like the Maasai, the Samburu are nomadic pastoralists, moving from one place to another following patterns of rainfall in search of fresh pasture and water for their cattle, camels, goats and sheep.

The Samburus are considered even more traditional and remote than their Maasai kin, and have maintained the authenticity of their culture by sticking to their ancient traditions and defying modern trends.

Other neighbors of the Samburu tribe include the pastoral Turkana, Rendille and Borana tribes. Samburu history is intertwined with that of Kenya's other Nilotic tribes. Samburus are known to have originated from Sudan, settling north of Mount Kenya and south of Lake Turkana in Kenya's Rift Valley area. Upon their arrival in Kenya in the 15th century, the Samburu parted ways with their Maasai cousins, who moved further south while the Samburu moved north. The Samburu were not very affected by British colonial rule since the British did not find their land particularly attractive.

Traditionally, the Samburu believed in one supreme god - Nkai or Ngai - who was thought to reside in the mountains. Diviners often acted as intermediaries between other mortals and Nkai. Today, while many Samburu people still adhere to their traditional religion, some have adopted the Christian or Islamic faith. [Read more here]

She has also put these beautiful Kenyan stamps but also one Korean [as she originates from Korea].

Sep 20, 2015

Big Torii Itsukushima Aki

This is one more amazing find of the car boot sale. It is a postcard of Big Torii Itsukushima Aki in Japan. You can see a modern postcard of this shrine and some more information here.

On the back of the postcard there is a stamp of Nagasaki and the date 26 November 1925.

In Japan, official postcards were introduced in December 1873, shortly after stamps were introduced to Japan. Return postcards were introduced in 1885, sealed postcards in 1900, and private postcards were allowed from 1900.

Dervish Dancer in Salonica

Today I went to a car boot sale and had some amazing finds! My favorite one is this postcard of a Dervish Dancer in Salonica, Greece.

A dervish or darvesh (from Persian درویش, Darvīsh via Turkish, Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش‎, Darwīš) is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity. His focus is on the universal values of love and service, deserting the illusions of ego to reach God. In most Sufi orders, a dervish is known to practice dhikr through physical exertions or religious practices to attain the ecstatic trance to reach Allah. [wikipedia]

The publisher of this postcard is Gilbert Baudinière, a french publisher who published postcards up until 1918, when he started publishing novels and poems. So this postcard was published 0n 1918 the latest.

Sep 19, 2015

Josef Lada [part 01]

As I wrote in my previous post, lately a lot of old Czechoslovakian postcards came to my possession. Apart from the Krtek ones, many of them belong to Josef LadaIllustrator, painter, scenographer and writer Josef Lada was born on December 17th, 1887 in Hrusice, a small village in central Bohemia, not far from Prague. He grew up in the poor family of a local shoemaker, in house no. 15. The family also had a small piece of land, where they could grow vegetable for their own need.

Krtek, the Mole [part 01]

Lately a large number of old postcards came to my possession. Among them there are a lot with Czechoslovakian stamps [so I guess the cards were sent between 1918 and  1993] and most of the cards depict Krtek [the Mole]. All the cards are written in Czech [which I don't speak] so it took a lot of research to find out who this cute little guy is.

The Mole (in the Czech original called Krtek, or, for little mole, Krteček; Slovak Krtko) is an animated character in a series of cartoons, created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Since its inception, the cartoon won itself an enormous popularity in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Japan, due its distinct lack of dialogue.

Krtek was first seen in 1956 in Prague, when Miler wanted to create a children's cartoon about how flax is processed. He wanted a strong Disney influence to the cartoon by choosing an animal for the leading role, and decided to pick a mole after stumbling over a molehill during a walk. The first film called "Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel" ("How the mole got his trousers") was released in 1956. Production for further episodes started in 1963 and since then, around 50 episodes have been created.

The first episode of the cartoon was narrated, but Miler wanted the cartoon to be understood in every country of the world, so he decided to use his daughters as voice actors, reducing the speech to short non-figurative exclamations in order to express the mole's feelings and world perception. They also became the bottleneck of the creation process as they were the ones who got to see the whole film first, thus Miler was able to decide whether the message of the movie was able to get to children or not. [wikipedia]

It took me a long time to realize it, but when I draw Krtek, I was drawing myself.

— Zdeněk Miler

The two ones you see here are - I think - from 'The Mole and the Car [Krtek a autíčko]' episode.