Harpoon Head – Old Bering Sea/Okvik Style, St Lawrence Island, Alaska

A classic Old Bering Sea toggle harpoon head. Though two thousand years old, the sleek, aerodynamic shape brings to mind a twentieth-century fighter jet. The body is gracefully sculpted with panels and pointed projections that resemble interleaved feathers or wings, all decorated with carefully incised lines and dashes that elaborate the surface beautifully. All the features of this harpoon head conjure impressions of flight and speed, attributes which would have advantaged the hunter. Great age and a degree of erosion have left the ivory with a rich brown hue and wood-like texture.

ca. 200 BC–AD 100
Walrus ivory
L: 3"

Kenneth Pushkin, Santa Fe

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