Reading Material Culture in the North Atlantic: traditional wooden boxes as intercultural objects

Silke Reeploeg

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This article explores intercultural links between the coastal communities of the North Atlantic region by discussing the cultural and social history of Norwegian objects displayed in regional heritage collections in Orkney and Shetland. Using the bentwood box as a way of accessing both tangible and intangible knowledge, the article focuses on the relationship between Norway and the Northern Isles of Scotland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially trading links. Different types of traditional wooden boxes from Shetland, Orkney, Norway and Iceland are compared using a microhistorical approach, which enables us to consider Norway and Scotland both as individual ¿ethno-territories¿ and as part of continuously changing networks of social and cultural contact across the North Atlantic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the North Atlantic
Early online date7 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • material culture
  • intercultural links
  • microhistory
  • North Atlantic

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