North America

Female Figure

Alaska

Presumably the depiction of a pregnant woman

Late Thule or early Inuit culture
Ancient Eskimo

Walrus tooth
17th century to 19th Century
Height: 1 ¾ in. (4.8 cm)

Ex private collection, Geneva

Price: on request

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According to Fitzhugh et Kaplan (Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo, 1982 : 156), these shamanic figurines were carved for several purposes: to stand in for people absent from the village during festivals, to avert infertility, or else to focus the attention of animal inua (spirit) during the Doll Festival, which was held to bless hunting and fishing expeditions in the coming year.