Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
These six objects reflect the importance of hunting to Arctic peoples. For millennia, Indigenous communities have not only relied on animals for sustenance but also incorporated parts of them, such as tusks and hide,into a variety of art forms.
Some objects, like the fishing lures displayed here, were produced for personal use, while the three stone sculptures were made to be sold. Of the commercial objects, the walrus figurine and the hunters in a model kayak are naturalistic, while the sculpture of a shaman transforming into a seal is enigmatic and likely depicts a creation story.
2 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 4 in. (5.7 x 4.4 x 10.2 cm) (show scale)
Hilda and Al Schein Collection
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Inuit. Walrus, 1950-1980. Soapstone, ivory, 2 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 4 in. (5.7 x 4.4 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Hilda and Al Schein Collection, 2004.79.13. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.2004.79.13-1.jpg)
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Walrus of black stone; tusks of ivory. Sits with head turned to one side; leans on front flippers. Sculpted carefully in the round, including bottom. Attention to detail. Condition good. Tusks crudely glued in place.
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