|Unidentified mummified remains found in Egypt|
Why have indigenous groups around the globe intentionally mummified the deceased?
How and why did taxidermy arise within Western society?
This blog is dedicated to answering these questions using case studies of both mummification and taxidermy. It can be argued that based on similar methodologies and motivations, taxidermy can be conceptualized as a type of Western take on mummification. In subsequent blog posts, we will discuss examples of methods from both practices, instances in which each are conducted for the sake of affection toward the subject, and occurrences of both as a demonstration of conquest over the subject, with comparisons following the examples used. Using this cross-cultural approach, we seek to broaden the (mis)understanding of taxidermy as simply an eccentric past-time for a minority of hobbyists, demonstrating instead how it constitutes a complex utilization of animal remains in the construction of individual and collective identities and relationships, in a similar fashion the intentional mummification of numerous Indigenous societies.
Preparation of a taxidermied deer figure by Clint Freeman