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Registrar’s Postcard: Avanos, Turkey

The Hair Museum of Avanos isn’t on Google Maps. It’s main function is to promote and attract customers to Chez Galip Pottery shop.

Over 35+ years, women have donated samples of hair along with their details.

Avanos Hair Museum 2013 Alli Burness

The hair lines all surfaces in a cave deep in the back of the shop. The mass display is powerful, remarkable as a collection, an unusual phenomenon. It’s reputation has snowballed as women continue to donate.

After the initial impact, I tried to distinguish individual components. But I found no further insight by trying to decipher yellowed handwritten notes. I couldn’t easily pick hair colors as strands are brittle and faded. Long locks brushed against me like cobwebs as I passed. The faded passport photographs, all of female faces, began to appear predatory. The overall impact faded. I was the last to skip out the tiny door, propelled by my rising sense of the creeps.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. How interesting to think about your sensory reaction as a visitors. I remember reading about that museum and, from the distance of my computer, my immediate reaction was “I want to donate my hair” (I have an illness that may one day result in me loosing much, if not most, of my hair).

    So as a potential donor, the idea that something I love (and might lose) can be preserved is an appealing one. But if the idea that the enivronment of its preservation might give people the creeps gives me second thoughts…

    7 October 2013
    • I wouldn’t think preservation is a central part of the Hair Museum in Avanos. Samples were aged, brittle, faded. I also wondered about when the family ends their connection to the Pottery Shop (the Hair Museum was started by the current owner’s uncle) – if the primary purpose is promotion, to bring in customers – once this purpose isn’t relevant, what happens to the Hair Museum? I highly doubt there would be any institution willing to step in.

      Your comment reminded me of the small pictures or pieces of art made from hair in the Victorian era, which I saw in the Frederic Mares Museum in Barcelona. I included a picture of one in my post on it http://bit.ly/15JO7zZ These pieces appear to preserve the hair used to make them very well. Perhaps a better alternative (in terms of preservation) to donating to Avanos? I’ve also come across a lady, Leila, who collects these types of art and has amassed a huge collection http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leila%27s_Hair_Museum

      9 October 2013
  2. Wow, this looks like a fascinating blog. Read about in how to pick a blog name on the daily post. Glad I found you. I love museums too.

    9 October 2013
    • Hi, glad you found me too! Always great to connect with new readers.

      9 October 2013
  3. Wonderful! And I’ve nominated you as Versatile Blogger. You don’t have to play it forward if you don’t want.
    http://tvortravels.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/1088/

    27 October 2013

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