- Museum number
Arrow straightener made of ivory
- Production date
- 1850 (circa)
Height: 2.20 centimetres
Length: 18 centimetres
Width: 4 centimetres
Width: 5 centimetres
- Curator's comments
see JCH King `First Peoples, First Contacts' British Museum Press 1999
McEwan 2009, p.74
Walrus Ivory Arrow Straightener. North Alaskan eskimo, USA, AD 1850
Durable walrus ivory had been used to fashion this arrow-straightener in the form of foetal caribou. It is used by wedging the end of the arrow shaft inside the diamond-shaped cavity to gain leverage and apply pressure. Around the aperture, walruses cavort in the water, one of which is being harpooned. An array of other detailed hunting scenes is inscribed into the surface of every facet of the tool. In one, a herd of swimming caribou distinguished by their huge antlers is pursued by a hunter with upraised spear in a canoe towards a figure standing on the shore. Another scene shows a row of tents marking the site of a seasonal camp beside which a band of eskimo with linked hands are engaged in a collective dance. A further encampment features game hanging from drying racks with a hunter left loosing off an arrow at a skein of migrating geese flying overhead.
- On display (G26/dc19)
- Exhibition history
1999 25 Jun-Present, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "Working with Ivory and Stone"
1984 13 Dec-1986 Jun, Museum of Mankind, Inuit / Eskimo: People of the North American Arctic, Case: "Technology and Raw Materials"
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1936C3.1 (old CDMS no.)