Rookpot Museum is home to countless archives, stories and finds from all over Farynshire. Since its conversion from a glassworks factory in 1762 to the magnificent building standing today, its mission has been to explore, explain and share the rich history of our county and its Peoples. To this end, we thought we would highlight some of the splendid and fascinating exhibitions the Museum has held over the years.
We start off this series with the exhibition that dived straight into the wolvern culture, educating us all, The Cold Earth.
The Cold Earth Exhibition
“Five stars – epic and transformative!” The County Voice
“A true wonder – I spent hours looking at the wolvern jewellery.” Elora Ayres, The Peer Review
“An educational marvel. Everyone should see this!” The Tor Gazette
“A true insight into a secretive, complex and wondrous culture.” The Hen Post
“An achievement.” Doctor Percy Wallace, Rookpot Museum
The wolvern are one of the four Peoples of Farynshire. The wolvern (earth). foresteens (forests), seafolk (oceans) and humans (fire) have lived and shaped the county in which we live, and we are beginning to appreciate and understand how interconnected we all are. The wolvern live in the Daggerrock Mountains on the county’s border with the rest of England, and rarely venture further than Wild Wolvern Mey.
The wolvern took one of the People’s Seats in the Council of Rookpot. They were the last of the Peoples to leave the Council for good in 1921, retreating into the mountains. Since then, the People’s Seats have stood symbolically vacant during Council meetings.
Since the early twentieth century all official contact between the wolvern and humans was severed. Even humans who live in the mountains, peaks and foothills rarely saw wolvern, though they often heard them.
Early in the twenty first century representatives from the Bloon Peaks Clan travelled to Rookpot to re-connect with humans. These were the Leader of the Clan, Geirolf, and his sons, Botolf ken Geirolf os okto and Blaeze ken Geirolf os dwoshu. Their mission was to re-forge relations with humans.
The Reciprocal Exchange was set up (to the bemusement of the wolvern, but they have to learn about human bureaucracy at some point), which involved staff from the Museum, the Library and the Tourist Office. The Museum funded an expedition to the Bloon Peaks to start the cultural exchange. This was an unprecedented and exciting opportunity explore wolvern life and culture.
The project to understand wolvern culture will never end, this is just the beginning. More exchanges are planned for the future. The Museum’s Farynshire Department now works closely with the Tourism Board and the Council to encourage more wide-ranging and inclusive projects with the wolvern.
The wolvern have been over-generous in their willingness to share! The Museum had to send lorries into the mountains to bring back all of the gifts and artefacts. Many of these are displayed in the Exhibition, alongside finds from the Diggers’ ongoing expeditions in the Peaks. The Exhibition gave Museum staff the excuse to trawl through the Vaults in order to re-discover finds archived over the centuries.
The Exhibition is presented as a timeline. When you walk into the Main Exhibition Hall you dive straight into pre-history when wolvern roamed widely over the county. The artefacts from this period are few, but Museum Diggers have unearthed a few rudimentary tools. As you move through time, you encounter the other Peoples and the wolvern’s interaction with them. The relationship between wolvern, foresteen and seafolk is an ongoing research project for the Museum’s Farynshire Department, as we still know very little about how the Peoples interacted, as most recollections of them revolve around humans. And this relationship – between wolvern and human – is the focus of the Exhibition.
Here are some highlights from the Exhibition picked out by our early critics.
“The interactive material is amazing. The virtual walk through the wolvern cave system is incredibly atmospheric – it feels like you are really there, they have even replicated the chill of the deeper caves so that the hairs rise on the back of your neck as you walk through! The whole trip can take over two hours as you move through the upper system where the wolvern families live, through to the deeper store chambers, and – if you make it!- the mines at the roots of the mountains. It’s even more breathtaking to think that the Diggers mapped this route for real, and subsequent expeditions painstakingly captured all the details needed to recreate the experience in the virtual world. Extraordinary.” The County Voice
“The wolvern jewellery is exquisite. From jayd pendants encased in purls hanging from intricately wrought golden chains, to delicate saaffyres fused with blazing orange roobis that were gifted to Leaders of Clans, it’s all extraordinary craftsmanship. The examples of brooches, bracelets, necklaces, nose and eyebrow rings on display show off the incredible artistry and skill of wolvern smiths. Who knew wolvern were so creative, and knew so much about beauty?” Elora Ayres, the Peer Review
“I spent the most time at the end of the Exhibition. This is where the displays focus on contemporary wolvern society. There are comprehensive explanations as to the complex make-up of Clan society, and interviews from all sections of their community. It is revelatory that these extraordinary people have lived side-by-side with us for all these centuries and this is the first time we are learning about them and their lives in any detail.” The Tor Gazette
“Definitely go and see the hunting section! Not only does it feature video footage of an actual wolvern hunt, it also provides an insight into wolvern diet – which is not just made up of deer and rabbit, as I had assumed. They are vastly knowledgeable about the culinary usages of the flora and fauna in the mountains. There is also a detailed explanation of a wolvern hunt, including maps of routes they use, which gives a fascinating insight into the teamwork involved and the complex strategy they employ. As well as all of that, there are numerous examples of tools and weapons used in the hunt and food preparation. I thought wolvern hunted like wolves, but they use weapons as well as their natural gifts to bring down prey.” The Hen Post
“The fascination for myself and my academic and research colleagues is the relationship between wolvern and Musril, both written and spoken. There is a whole section devoted to wolvern writing through the ages. The examples of ancient Musril written on bones is one of the finds of the century. It is, according to colleagues in Riversouth, the oldest example of written Musril found anywhere. We are able to track not only the evolution of writing materials (such as the various animal skins – including wolvern! – some fragments of bark, gold, snowdim and other metals), but also the evolution of Musril itself. Modern wolvern use clay to write upon, which is then fired in a kiln to produce stone tablets. There are numerous examples of these in the Exhibition. The revelation that wolvern speak Farynshire’s native language has sent shockwaves through the linguistics community, particularly in Riversouth. The Musril that humans use, even in Riversouth, is often mixed with English and Welsh, but wolvern Musril is untouched and quite pure. There are recordings in the Exhibition of wolvern howling and singing in Musril that send shivers down the spine.” Doctor Percy Wallace, Rookpot Museum
The generosity of the wolvern, and the interest generated by the Exhibition, has enabled us to put on a full programme of events for The Cold Earth. Everyone is welcome, but space is limited so please sign up early to avoid disappointment.
Title: "The first expedition" Lecturer: Professor Deandre Eldergaard, Venue: Nightingale Tower Lecture Theatre, Wilberforce Avenue Title: "Letting wolvern back into our lives - how the Peoples co-exist" Lecturer: Professor Deandre Eldergaard Venue: Nightingale Tower Lecture Theatre, Wilberforce Avenue Title: "Diggers" Lecturer: Rhys Gruffuyd Venue: Rookpot Museum, Dameg Square Title: "Musril - the language of Farynshire and its Peoples" - Lecturers: Doctor Peter Wallace (Rookpot Museum) and Aderyn Tooking (White Palace Scribe) Venue: Rookpot Museum, Dameg Square Title: "Looking after the artefacts" - Lecturer: Ceri Bebb Venue: Rookpot Museum, Dameg Square Title: "The wolvern perspective" Lecturer: Botolf ken Geirolf os okto Venue: Nightingale Tower Lecture Theatre, Wilberforce Avenue Title: "Gems, stones and minerals: wolvern mines and jewelry" Lecturers: Ceri Bebb and Botolf ken Geirolf os okto Venue: Rookpot Museum, Dameg Square
There are numerous Show and Tell sessions in Rookpot Library for all the family. These involve getting up close and personal with some of the finds in the Exhibition, as well as the opportunity to talk to Diggers and experts and scholars from the Museum. These events are for all the family and are running every day this month as drop in sessions.
The Raven Theatre in EassenBren Square has commissioned an entire season of plays and dramatic readings that includes newly commissioned pieces., performances by local theatre and community groups, matinees put on by local schools, as well as versions of older plays from years gone by. See the Theatre’s website for the full programme and tickets.
The Exhibition on the Road is a tour around Farynshire of some of the most rare and valuable finds and exhibits. The tour will land in the following places:
4th - 8th - The White Palace, Riversouth
10th - The Village Hall, Baypemnon
12th-13th - Old Street, Oakenfen
15th-17th - Pillars Arch, Llum
22nd - 25th - Mountain View, Mountain Pass Road, Brish
1st-3rd - Cowlery Hall, Cowlery Maggs
5th-8th - Sylnmouth
10th-12th - St Paul's, Rookpot Road, Cwm Purne
Contact the local venues for further details.