ESK7 - Ancient Eskimo Whaling Charm.

The sea mammal hunting culture of the ancient peoples of the Bering Strait developed over a couple of millennia to include seeking seals, walrus, whales (beluga and the very large bowhead whales). These whales were hunted from large skin boats (umiaks) with crews of several Eskimos wielding ivory and bone toggling harpoons. Capturing an immense bowhead whale was a the greatest goal of one of these hunters. Relying on spiritual as well as material equipment for the quest the hunter would carefully carve small effigies of his quarry, and pin or sew these good luck “charms” to his parka or visored hunting hat. This miniature bowhead whale is one of those charms. Just 2 ¼ “ long and 3/4” wide this whale was carved from walrus ivory, complete with small fluke and the “smiling” jaw line of the whale on each side. The underside of the effigy is flat and meant to ride on the visor of the hunting hat, pinned there through a hole drilled in the fluke. Very old, this tiny effigy was recovered from old middens on St Lawrence Island, where its hundreds of years sojourn in humus rich permafrost has stained it do a deep and variagated dark brown. A rare item to be sure! $380.00


           Price - $380.00

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