Hearst Museum Portal

Tusk

Museum number:
2-146
Permalink:
ark:/21549/hm21020000146
Accession number:
Acc.46
Object count:
1
Description:
Walrus tusk with incised and darkened scenes; war-like scenes with men with bows and arrows on both sides; dog sleds with drivers on part of one side.
Donor:
Phoebe Apperson Hearst
Collection place:
Lower Yukon, Yukon, Yukon-Koyukuk Borough
Culture or time period:
Alaskan Eskimo
Collector:
Charles L. Hall
Collection date:
1895
Taxon:
Odobenus rosmarus
Object type:
ethnography
Accession date:
August 12, 1902
Department:
Cat. 2 - North America (except Mexico and Central America)
Dimensions:
length 50.5 centimeters
Comment:
Published: Ray, Eskimo Art (1977), fig. 248. "Engraved tusk, with war and violence as the main themes, late nineteenth century [...]. Warfare and raiding were common folk tale subjects among the northwest Alaska Eskimos, especially those who came into contact with Indians and Siberians. The stories ranged from confrontations by a whole village to an attack on a single dwelling, both of which are shown on this tusk. The pulling of the man's arms and legs was to tear him asunder. An area near Peterson Creek in the Elim area was named Kukuktalik (''sexual intercourse''), which commemorated the rape and murder of a young Malemiut girl, whose family was also killed by men who had come from Shaktoolik across the bay. Her death was most tragic of all because it was accomplished by tying her to four kayaks, which paddled off in four directions to pull her apart."
Images:
Legacy documentation: