MEL983.163.234.1-2 | Scrimshaw carving

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Creative Commons License
Scrimshaw carving
Anonyme - Anonymous
1970-1980, 20th century
30 x 13 x 8.1 cm
Lent by Mrs. Claudia Ferguson
© McCord Museum
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Keys to History

A decorative object, this carved walrus tusk has on one side an image of the traditional seal hunt among the Inuit people, and on the other side, native animals of the Arctic.

  • What

    The decoration on this tusk is called scrimshaw. It is made by carving a design and then rubbing ink or paint into the grooves.

  • Where

    The walrus tusk comes from the Arctic. At the tip is a carving of a polar bear.

  • When

    The technique of scrimshaw was first used by European whalers, who taught it to the Inuit, possibly in the 19th century.

  • Who

    Recently carved by an Inuit craftsman, this object was made to be sold as a souvenir.