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Catalog Data

Donor Name:
Edward W. Nelson  Search this
Length - Object:
30 cm
Eskimo, Yupik, St. Lawrence Island  Search this
Object Type:
Ice Scratcher
St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea, Alaska, United States, North America
Accession Date:
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 , 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.
Record Last Modified:
26 Jul 2018
Specimen Count:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
USNM Number:
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Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.