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Book: Comparative Perspectives on Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration

Chapter: 7. Migration, Identity and Material Culture: Hanseatic Translocality in the Medieval Baltic Sea

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24605


Magdalena Naum addresses a form of 'betwixt-and-between existence' in her study of translocality among Hanse merchants in the late-medieval Baltic Sea area.

This paper focuses on the Hanseatic merchant diaspora in the late medieval towns of Kalmar in Sweden and Tallinn in Estonia, and explores its practices as examples of translocality. Translocal subjects maintain a complex web of connections and experience a simultaneous sense of belonging to the place of origin and the place of residence. In the case of the Hanseatic diaspora these attachments were maintained by diverse means. Material culture in particular constituted a significant element of the merchants’ diasporic and translocal lives. The paper discusses how material things – gifts, real estate, architecture and house furnishings – were used to fill the spaces of physical absence at the nodal points of translocal movement.

Chapter Contributors

  • Magdalena Naum ( - mnaum) 'University of Lund, Sweden'