North America

Human figure

Alaska

Human figure wearing a parka

Late Thule or early Inuit culture
Ancient Eskimo

Walrus tooth
19th century or earlier
Height: 1½ in. (3.7 cm)

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.