Fishhook Decorated with an Ivory Seal

Unknown people (Alaska Native)
Western Arctic
Arctic

Share

See Previous Article See next Article

late 19th or early 20th century

Brass, copper, ivory, and sinew

Overall: 1 11/16 in. (4.3 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College

29.58.7934

Geography

Place Made: United States, North America

Period

19th century

Object Name

Tools and Equipment: Hunting and Fishing

Research Area

Native American

Native American: Arctic-Western Arctic

On view

Label

The ivory seal on the fishing hook at center was likely carved from walrus tusk. Cast into the water, the seal’s spirit helped the person fishing attract their prey. Other small carvings in this case portray ducks, puffins, and other animals that live in or near the water. These were traded with settler communities, but within Inuit, Yup’ik, and Iñupiaq communities, adults used these carvings to teach children about the local Arctic environment.

Today, Indigenous-led activism and knowledge of the arctic ecosystem, which includes caring for fish and ensuring their survival, informed a recently implemented international ban on commercial fishing in center of the Arctic Ocean. Who is protecting the water in your community?

From the 2023 exhibition Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

Course History

ENVS 80, BIOL 148, Polar Science, Policy, and Ethics, Ross Virginia, Spring 2012

ENVS 80, BIOL 148, Polar Science, Policy, and Ethics, Ross Virginia, Spring 2013

ANTH 74, The Human Spectrum, Nate Dominy, Spring 2022

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Francine A'Ness, Summer 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Art History 40.01, American Art and Identity, Mary Coffey, Fall 2023

Creative Writing 10.02, Writing and Reading Fiction, Katherine Crouch, Fall 2023

Geography 11.01, Qualitative Methods, Emma Colven, Fall 2023

Geography 2.01, Introduction to Human Geography, Coleen Fox, Fall 2023

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Anthropology of Religion, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, Anthropology 48, March 30-May 2, 2004.

Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, Israel Sack Gallery and the Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 29, 2023-June 16, 2024.

Survival/Art/History: American Indian Collections from the Hood Museum of Art, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, November 18, 2000-April 7, 2002.

Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment, Friends and Owen Robertson Cheatham Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, Juanuary 27-May 13,2007.

Publication History

Nicole Stuckenberger, Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, cover, no.20.

Robert L. Welsch and Luis A. Vivanco, Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, New York: Oxford University Press, 2015, 461 pp., ill. p. 359.

Provenance

Source unknown [possibly New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, New Hampshire]; catalogued, 1929.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: Hood.Collections@dartmouth.edu

Subjects