Fossil Walrus Eskimo Artifact Inflation Plug 23
Fossil Walrus Artifact Inflation Plug- A amazing piece of history and culture. This is very Cool! Over the years we have seen that most of the tools from the Eskimo, Inuit and Northern most Peoples have been fashioned out of ivory ( predominately Walrus Ivory) or parts of the walrus. Few were made from wood as there aren't many trees on the Aleutians. I found this excerpt below. This piece would make a very unique jewelry component. Strung on a necklace with some interesting beads on the sides. A one of a kind piece. Of course for display. We have only come across several of these throughout the years. This is an intriguing artifact.
The ancestral Inuit tool kit employed raw materials from hunted species plus some worked stone and driftwood. Their technology depended heavily on compound tools made from several types of raw materials and incorporating several parts. A harpoon might employ a driftwood shaft, a foreshaft made from caribou antler, a socket piece from walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) bone, a finger rest made from walrus ivory, lashings made from caribou sinew, a head made from whale bone, a blade made from slate, a line made from walrus hide, and a sealskin float.
The harpoon head toggled, or turned, 90° once it was thrust into the animal, preventing withdrawal. As the head toggled, the shaft fell away, leaving a hide cord running from the head back to the hunter or to a float. The float was a sealskin with all but one of its orifices sewn shut. The remaining orifice was used to inflate the float through an ivory inflation nozzle, which was then plugged with a piece of driftwood. The float marked the prey’s location and slowed it down, tiring it as it attempted to swim or dive.
Excavated on St. Lawrence Island by Eskimo people known as Siberian Yupik. For over 5,000 years the Yupiks had villages along the Bering Sea and fashioned sled runners, net weights, chopping tools and other utensils out of readily available ivory. That ivory became hidden from the world for centuries, when it was discarded in the village middens (dumps) along with tusks and bones of walrus, whales and seals. Only now is that ancient ivory being unearthed, excavated by the descendants of the primitive Yupiks that worked it.