Okvik, Native American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

When early hunters succeeded in a big walrus kill, they transformed the animal’s precious ivory into finely wrought tools for their hunting kits. This toggle, carved in the form of a ferocious animal, possibly a sea lion, was attached to a harpoon and acted as a movable barb: when the body of a walrus was pierced, it prevented the spear from exiting the skin.

Toggle, Walrus ivory, Okvik, Native American

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