A Bering Strait Inuit belt fastener in the form of an anthropomorphic seal’s face

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Object Description

A Bering Strait Inuit belt fastener in the form of an anthropomorphic seal’s face the carved walrus ivory with large inlaid baleen eyes and tattooed eyebrows

Size: 2cm high, 1.5cm wide, 1cm deep – ¾ ins high, ½ ins wide, ¼ ins deep / 8.5cm high – 3¼ ins high (with base)

Object History

Ex Private UK collection

Object Literature

On the shores of the Arctic Ocean, life was never easy. The Eskimo made their adjustment to their extreme environment so long ago that at first glance their culture seems never to have changed. This is, of course, not the case as over the centuries they have developed many diverse skills to an extremely high degree; they made paper thin clothing from animal skins, they developed very exacting hunting techniques necessary in their very difficult terrain, and they invented a system of transportation which was superbly adapted to the frozen land and sea.
Men were responsible for all big game hunting, for the construction of houses and boats, for the manufacture of tools, weapons, utensils and artefacts made of wood, stone, bone and ivory and for the protection of the family from physical danger. Women were responsible for the processing of all game and the preparation of food, for all work in skins and grass, for the gathering and seasonal foraging of products such as berries and roots, and for the general operation of the household. The pursuit of small game and certain varieties of birds and fish was either shared or differed between men’s and women’s work from one region to another. In this way the harsh, barren landscape and severe weather was overcome.

Object Details

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