Ethnographical Museum – Musaion 24. 7. 2014 – 31. 5. 2015
Web národního muzea

About the exhibition

The exhibition presents to the visitors the theme of dying and death in folk culture in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century.

photo of the mask

It describes the habits of the past that were related to dying, death of a human being and his way to the grave and last sleep. The theme of dying, death, funeral and the related habits is presented through the objects used when manipulating with the corpse (e.g. coffin, cross for the coffin, funeral and mourning textiles).
The objects representing the beliefs of the bereaved show the connection of Christian and pagan customs (candles, a rosary, a prayer book, holy pictures, equipment in the coffin – things for the last journey).
There is also depicted the image of personified death in folk customs. The masks of death at Shrovetide parades and the Death as a symbol of winter being taken away from the village on the fifth Sunday in Lent before Easter play the most important role here. When carrying away the death the girls were singing “We are taking away the death from the village, we are bringing the new summer to the village.”

Another topic of the exhibition is the magic protective devices used against death and illnesses and also to express thanks for saved life.
The theme of death is often depicted in folk art. These topics are namely related to the belief in God, Jesus Christ and all saints.

The panels present folk literature connected to the images of death, such as superstitions, forebodings of death, fairy tales, legends, songs and their reflections in literature, e.g. in “Kytice” by Karel Jaromír Erben, the ballads Wedding Shirt and Christmas Eve.




20. 3. 2015 – 6. 1. 2016

Deadly pleasures

20. 3. 2015 – 21. 6. 2015

Godmother Death

18. 6. 2014 – 11. 10. 2015

Death Rituals

31. 10. 2014 – 20. 9. 2015

Famous Funerals

24. 4. 2015– 31. 3. 2016