Skip Navigation


Arts of the Americas

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.
MEDIUM Soapstone, ivory
  • Place Made: Canada
  • DATES 1950–1980
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 4 in. (5.7 x 4.4 x 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2004.79.13
    CREDIT LINE Hilda and Al Schein Collection
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION 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)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.2004.79.13-1.jpg., 2018
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.