Eskimo torso

North America | Alaska

Eskimo torso

Alaska

Anthropomorphic torso
Probably Inupiaq, ancient Eskimo

Early 20th century or earlier
Carved wood
Height: 15.5 cm – 6 ¼ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Dr. Eads
Hôtel Drouot, Néret-Minet, 7 April 2004, lot 30
Ex collection Fernand Lafarge, acquired from above

Published: Parcours des Mondes 2022
Eskimo torso 15.5 cm ex collection Lafarge / Galerie Flak Price on request
According to William Fitzhugh, Yup’ik & Inupiaq Eskimo dolls were made as children’s toys or dolls, for use in fertility ceremonies, or for calling upon the “masters” of game animals.
Other ethnographic parallels recorded in the early 20th century demonstrate that human figurines could be used by their owners 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.
Occasionally a shaman would create a doll from wood or ivory in order to help a childless couple, who would take care of the doll in the hope that it would come to life in the woman's womb.
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