Eskimo Reclining Figure

An extremely rare reclining figure carved with its head and torso tilted back. The lower section of the body is stylized to form a flattish oval beavertail-like form. The face is highly expressive with the eyes and mouth suggested by three oval depressions anchored by the pointed nose.

Saint Lawrence or Punuk Islands, Bering Strait, Alaska. Punuk Culture 600 to 900 AD. Mineralized walrus tusk (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) with a superb patina of age and use. 5,5 x 2,2 cm.

The shape of this effigy is most unusual and few others are known. Their function remains to be decerned, but it can be surmised that the oval flattened area was inserted into a lodging or tightly bound to some larger object possible a harpoon for which this figure could be a finger rest or it is a figure meant to be inserted into a minute model kayak or possibly a central ornament from a hunting hat or visor.