Harpoon

About this object

Narrative

Purchased using auction funds donated by Anne Piternick.

Physical description

East Greenland harpoon. Part a is a long, straight, wooden shaft, squared at the bottom where it is capped with a cut square of tusk, and narrowing along its length toward the tip. At the shaft’s midpoint several holes are bored into the wood, in which are inserted a hook and nubs of bone. The harpoon’s head is made from carved narwhal tusk, its shape long and rounded, thicker through middle and narrowing at end where a small piece is attached. Part b is an intricately designed throwing board. The board is rectangular, thin in profile, and concave on its underside. The base is wide, narrowing to tip where a shaped piece of bone is inset. Along the board’s upper surface are nailed 41 tiny seals carved from bone. Narrow strips of bone line the edges. The throwing board has three holes along the body that allow it to attach to the harpoon shaft by the nubs and hook.