Walrus Tusk Ivory engraved with pictures of everyday activities
Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
These two engraved objects, a walrus tusk and a sperm whale tooth, encapsulate aspects of Indigenous Arctic life, particularly the use of natural materials and the importance of hunting. The tusk is decorated with depictions of men hunting walrus in boats, of village huts, and of women preparing food. The tooth presents a variety of hunting scenes in which men chase a walrus, harpoon a whale, spear a bear, and aim bows and arrows at a caribou. One especially intriguing scene shows three men dancing and holding circular drums.
Walrus Tusk Ivory
27 3/4 x 2 x 3 1/4 in. (70.5 x 5.1 x 8.3 cm) (show scale)
A. Augustus Healy Fund
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Inupiaq. Walrus Tusk Ivory engraved with pictures of everyday activities, 19th century. Walrus Tusk Ivory, 27 3/4 x 2 x 3 1/4 in. (70.5 x 5.1 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 44.34.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 44.34.3_view01_PS11.jpg)
overall, 44.34.3_view01_PS11.jpg., 2019
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Long curved tusk engraved with scenes depicting men hunting walrus in boats, village huts, and food preparation. The object is sometimes referred to as scrimshaw, which is a non-Native term for this type of engraving on ivory.
Condition: there is a small break.
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