Point, Projectile

1966.1.2

Creation Date
1931 – 1955
Materials

Dimensions

2.540 cm. W x 2.540 cm. D x 15.240 cm. L Item (Overall)

The blade is 3 3/8"

Description
"Carved Ivory Spear Point. The dark brown handle of this spear point is carved out of very old fossilized ivory, for the older this petrified ivory is, the darker it is. The blade of the spear point is only slightly tan. The entire spear point is 6 inches long; yet when it was used by the Eskimos before the introduction of guns into the territory, it could actually kill whales and walruses. The Eskimos accomplished the kill by attaching this spear point to a harpoon by running sinews through the slits in the handle and then through the carved holes, further up toward the blade. The entire weapon was then flung with force at the whale or walrus target. The Eskimos carved all their other weapons too." Ivory Carving has a long history in the Artic and Subarctic. All the utensils, tools, and weapons were made by hand from ivory and other natural materials such as horn, bone, and animal hides. These same materials were used to make decorative objects. Traditionally, these decorative objects were also miniatures so that they could be transported easily by these nomadic people. The color of the ivory changes with age. Fossilized ivory may be several thousands of years old. Its color can range from golden to brown or even black. These rare color ivories are more precious to Eskimo carvers than new white ivory.

Related People and Organizations
Helbing, Cleora

Contact the Pope County Historical Society for more information