St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea, Alaska, United States, North America
9 Feb 1882
FROM CARD: "ILLUS. IN BAE 18TH AR, PT. 1; PL. LII-6; P. 126."
This object is on loan to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, from 2010 through 2022.
Source of the information below: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge website, by Aron Crowell, entry on this artifact https://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=133 , retrieved 7-17-2018; see web page for additional information: Ice scratcher. When stalking a maklak (bearded seal) a man would scrape the sea ice with this tool, making a sound just like a seal digging its breathing hole. The familiar scratching comforted the animal as the hunter crept closer, his harpoon ready to strike. To blend in with the surroundings, the hunter wore a parka with a white-trimmed hood and hid his body behind a large mitten made of polar bear or white dog skin.