Walrus harpoon-

Walrus are large and powerful animals, and so are normally only preyed on by orcas, polar bears, and humans. Bears prefer to hunt the smaller and weaker walrus cubs and favor surprise attacks rather than risking a head on confrontation with the walrus herd. Orcas sometimes try to take walrus in the water, but even they can be rebuffed. The Inuit have different methods for hunting walrus, but all of them require multiple hunters and specialized tools such as this harpoon.

   This bird spear is another example of the walrus as a source of material for tools. The triple pronged head is made from carved walrus ivory while the shaft is made of driftwood rubbed with red ochre. Wood is a scarce resource in the treeless Arctic tundra and so Inuit craftspeople often used driftwood or an alternate material (such as bone) in its place. Of particular interest to me was the delicate knot work that helps hold the prongs to the shaft.
  • Camera: Nikon D70
  • Aperture: f/3.5
  • Exposure: 1/80th
  • Focal Length: 18mm

This bird spear is another example of the walrus as a source of material for tools. The triple pronged head is made from carved walrus ivory while the shaft is made of driftwood rubbed with red ochre. Wood is a scarce resource in the treeless Arctic tundra and so Inuit craftspeople often used driftwood or an alternate material (such as bone) in its place. Of particular interest to me was the delicate knot work that helps hold the prongs to the shaft.

This Inuit shovel was carved from a walrus shoulder blade. The Inuit, who inhabit the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and the US, are well known for their sea faring and hunting skills and a large part of their diet comes from marine animals. Walrus are too powerful to be hunted by one person so Inuit hunters worked in teams. They and their families used most parts of the walrus, including the skin, bones, and ivory, in ingenious ways, as with this shovel.

Happy 4th of July from the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum! This beautiful netted beadwork necklace made by a Greenlandic artist has red, white and blue beads, reminiscent of the colors of the American flag!  

 
  • Camera: Nikon D70
  • Aperture: f/5
  • Exposure: 1/125th
  • Focal Length: 70mm

Happy 4th of July from the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum! This beautiful netted beadwork necklace made by a Greenlandic artist has red, white and blue beads, reminiscent of the colors of the American flag! 

 

While we have the occasional photograph of a cow in our collection, they hardly qualify as Arctic. Instead, I offer you this adorable baby, Ole, with his mother Ane Petersen in the spring of 1923. Ane has with her a tin of Sheffield powdered milk, courtesy of Donald MacMillan, but I don’t believe that it was the source of Ole’s robust good health.

Another staff favorite for today. This early Greenlandic carving of a woman carrying a baby in her amautik is a recommendation from our assistant curator, Anne. This statue “has an archaic design quality,” Anne says, “that looks almost modern to my eye.”

I, for one, love the angles and details on this figure - really lovely.

-M