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Shaman's Charm or Soul Catcher

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
CULTURE Tlingit
MEDIUM Bone or Ivory, abalone shell
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 9 1/2 x 6 x 1 1/4 in. (24.1 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 73.110
CREDIT LINE By exchange
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Tlingit. Shaman's Charm or Soul Catcher, late 19th or early 20th century. Bone or Ivory, abalone shell, 9 1/2 x 6 x 1 1/4 in. (24.1 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 73.110. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 73.110_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 73.110_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Carved and hollow bone figurine in the form of a whale with a fin rising from the center of its back. On the fin is a carved face with mouth and teeth. At one end of the whale is an open mouth. Incised geometric forms cover the figure: U-shapes, circles, and ellipses forming another mouth, teeth, eyes and nostrils. Several incisions are filled with abalone shell; three pieces of shell are missing. On back of object, at either side of fin, are two holes equal in size. Used by a shaman to catch or hold the ill person's soul while he performs the healing ceremony. When the ceremony is finished, the patient's soul would be returned to his or her body. Condition: A portion of one end of the charm is broken.
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Tlingit. <em>Shaman's Charm or Soul Catcher</em>, late 19th or early 20th century. Bone or Ivory, abalone shell, 9 1/2 x 6 x 1 1/4 in.  (24.1 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 73.110. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 73.110_bw.jpg)