North America | Alaska
Thule culture (Ancient Eskimo)
Circa 1200-1600 A.D.
Carved walrus tooth
Height: 3 ¾ in. (9.5 cm)
Excavated near Brevik circa 2010
Ex collection George Shaw, Colorado, USA
“Les fils de Sanna – Inuit de l’Arctique”, Musée du Nouveau Monde, La Rochelle, 2020
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.
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