Baleine Thule

North America | Alaska

Baleine Thule

Alaska

Shamanic amulet – ornament depicting a whale
Thule Culture (ancient Eskimo)

18th century or earlier
Carved walrus tooth
Length: 1 ¼ in. – 3 cm

Ex collection Jean-Baptiste Bacquart, London / Paris
Ex collection Schmidt, London

Thule Whale 3 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
According to Fitzhugh & 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.
Other ethnographic parallels recorded in the early 20th century demonstrate that figurines could be used as personal assistants and “spiritual helpers” to capture prey or as “guardians” to safeguard humankind from those physical and spiritual dangers encountered in the landscape.

Video

Explore the entire collection
North America
North America | U.S.A.
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Canada
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Gulf of Alaska
North America | Alaska
Kachina
North America
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Greenland
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | New Mexico
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
North America | Alaska
North America | Arizona
North America | Arizona
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter