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Rare Early Eskimo Smoking Pipe

Product Description

This is a wonderful early trade Eskimo pipe fashioned from a walrus tusk. There are detailed scrimshaw decorations on all four facets depicting scenes of Eskimo life. Hunters are seen in numerous aspects; seated in a kayak, in the bow of a umiak about to thrust a harpoon into a bowhead whale, 3 men rowing in each of two other umiaks, confronting a bear standing on hind legs, in a prone position and shooting at a caribou, etc. There are numerous dwellings and fish drying racks. A small section showing a hand on each side is shaped to accommodate the separate plain chimney and is pegged in at the end of the pipe and shows a very minor crack. The decorated mouthpiece with wooden plug fits in at the opposite end. The style of engraving indicates its origin as Saint Michael on Norton Sound, Alaska, where E.W. Nelson, a Signal Corps officer, was commissioned to collect for the Smithsonian Institution from 1877 to 1881. The Saint Michael souvenir trade was well established during Nelsonís stay, and this pipe dates to that time or soon after.

For a discussion of Alaskan Esklmo pipes see: Ray, Dorothy Jean, Eskimo Art , Tradition and Innovation in North Alaska: University of Washington Press;, 1977.
Early Eskimo Smoking Pipe
Item# REEskimopipe
$4,500.00

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