Winged Object, ca. 300

  • Okvik, Native American

Walrus ivory, patina

  • Overall: 7 3/8 inches (18.7 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Peter W. Stroh and the Stroh Brewery Foundation Fund

1983.7

On View

  • Native American S130

Department

Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas

  • Eskimo
  • Ivory
  • Sculpture
  • Saint lawrence island
  • Saint lawrence island

The Winged Object functioned as a counterweight for a harpoon used to hunt seals and walruses. The thin, weblike tracery of engraved designs and the animal head carved in rounded relief were intended to please the inua or spirit of the hunted quarry. The Okvik were early Arctic ancestors of the Eskimo; they inhabited villages on both the North American and Asian sides of the Bering Straits as well as the several islands in between.

1982, excavated by Eskimos from a specific site owned by the Floyd Wogitillan family at the old village of Kukulik (Kukulik site, Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska, USA); purchased by (Ron Nasser, HRN Primitives, New York, New York, USA); 1983-present, purchased by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bulletin of the DIA 61, 3 (1982-1983): p. 10 (ill.). 100 Masterworks from the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1985, pp. 78-79 (ill.). Penney, David W. and George C. Longfish. Native American Art. Southport, CT, 1994, p. 246.

Okvik, Native American; Eskimo, Native American, Winged Object, ca. 300, walrus ivory, patina. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Peter W. Stroh and the Stroh Brewery Foundation Fund, 1983.7.