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Drag with ivory seal-head toggle

Arts of the Americas

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
MEDIUM Hide, ivory
DATES late 19th century
DIMENSIONS toggle width: 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm) length: 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund
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CAPTION Inupiaq Eskimo (Native American). Drag with ivory seal-head toggle, late 19th century. Hide, ivory, toggle width: 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 44.34.11. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 44.34.11_acetate_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 The toggle head is a seal poking through the ice at one end with an angled spur located at the other. The toggle types have a line hole near the midsection of the harpoon head.The toggle head is attached to a fore-shaft assembly which provides the weight to thrust the head through the mammal’s skin and blubber right down into the muscle. When the strike is good enough to get the harpoon head deep into the animal’s muscle, the fore-shaft assembly falls away. This toggle may have been used for seal hunting.
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Drag with ivory seal-head toggle