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)

Shaman's Charm or Soul Catcher


Medium: Bone or Ivory, abalone shell

Geograhical 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)


Museum Location: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor


Accession Number: 73.110

Image: 73.110_bw.jpg,

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.

Brooklyn Museum