Rare Eastern Greenland ‘Angakoq’ Eskimo Carved Cedar-wood Hunting Visor

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Object Description

A Rare Eastern Greenland ‘Angakoq’ Eskimo Carved Cedar-wood Hunting Visor Decorated to the Top with Amuletic Stencil Cut Whalebone Skeletal Patterns Fixed with Baleen Resembling an Abstract Two Eyed Seal’s Face
19th Century

Size: 1.5cm high, 14cm wide, 9cm deep – ½ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 3½ ins deep

Object History

Ex Danish Private collection of Richard Bögrad (1897 – 1952) Geologist on the Sixth Knud Rasmussen Thule Expedition to Eastern Greenland 1932
Thence by descent

Object Literature

When hunting both at sea and on land the visor was essential equipment to protect the eyes from glare. Tied to the forehead by means of a sinew thong threaded through the holes at the side, the visor would cut down the amount of light entering the eye and shade the face. Too much light reflecting back off the snow covered landscape could cause the retina to be partially burnt by excessive ultraviolet radiation causing the hunter to be ‘snow blind’. The visor also served to propitiate success in the hunt through the use of amuletic designs carved in bone to the top. Mimicking the face of a seal it would enable the seal’s ‘inua’ to be placated and allow the hunter to catch it.

Object Details

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